New Hanover County senior population growing

WILMINGTON -- New Hanover County's senior population continues to grow. The number of people 65 and older is expected to nearly double by the year 2030. To help make room, the county is adding more than one-hundred new nursing home beds. One-hundred-thirty beds were up for grabs and several local facilities wanted them. It has come down to two that will get the additions. Britthaven of North Chase will make room for ten new nursing home beds as well as convert 20 current beds. A spokesperson says this will allow for more personal attention on sick patients. The remaining 100 beds go to a facility that isn't even built yet -- a branch of the Lutheran Services for the Aging. This will be the first faith-based, non-profit nursing home in the county. It's expected to be completed by the fall of 2010. New Hanover County Department of Aging Director Annette Crumpton said, "Medical science has just found ways to keep us living longer than our parents were and because of that we need to make sure we can take care of them when they can no longer take care of themselves and these nursing home beds will certainly help in that capacity." Currently there are about 900 nursing home beds in New Hanover County. As of June 2007, the state division of aging estimates there were just over 30,000 people over the age of 60 living in New Hanover County.

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