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Secretary of Aging Participates in National Panel Discussion on Reshaping Discourse on Aging

04/16/2024

Pennsylvania's Aging Our Way, PA plan in national spotlight as state model to reframe aging and eliminate age bias

Washington, D.C.Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich recently joined aging network leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the National Center to Reframe Aging's Summit 2024: The Movement to Reframe Aging. The summit centered around a collective goal to revolutionize the way we communicate, think, and act as we all share the universal experience of aging.

“It was truly an honor to represent our Commonwealth in that space and on a national level to discuss how we are changing the narrative about aging while learning what is being done in other states," said Secretary Kavulich. “We know that bias exists against aging. It is certainly something we are all encountering, especially within ourselves. It's critical that we change the way we all think and speak about aging to avoid perpetuating that bias."

The daylong summit brought together thought leaders, national experts, federal representatives, and local, regional, and state-based leaders to learn about the current movement to reframe aging, gain insight into what's next, and exchange ideas for advancing an equitable and complete story about aging in America. In addition to a live audience, attendees from more than 1,200 locations participated online internationally.

Secretary Kavulich participated in a panel discussion titled “Reshaping Discourse on Aging: State and Local Models for Change" along with aging network leaders from Utah, Ohio, and Maine. During the discussion, he noted how the Department incorporated best practices from the National Center to Reframe Aging while developing Aging Our Way, PA – the soon-to-be-released 10-year strategic plan for older Pennsylvanians that will help transform service delivery to create the age-friendly Commonwealth that all residents deserve now and in the future.

“As we were developing Aging Our Way, PA, we refrained from using words like 'vulnerable populations' to describe older adults. We were very conscientious in reframing the conversation about aging as being positive and something that we should all embrace," stated Secretary Kavulich. “We are all getting older, and we will all need help at some point during our life journey. Keeping that in mind helped us, our stakeholders, and our sister agencies create a vision and a roadmap to help better serve older Pennsylvanians."

The Department of Aging (PDA) began developing Aging Our Way, PA after Governor Shapiro signed an Executive Order to direct PDA to draft a plan that truly reflected the needs and input of Pennsylvanians. PDA, the 52 Area Agencies on Aging representing all 67 Pennsylvania counties, and the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging hosted more than 200 virtual and in-person listening sessions to gather input for the plan from stakeholders, caregivers, older adults, advocates, and anyone planning to age in the Commonwealth.

PDA also invited Pennsylvanians to submit comments on the plan by mail, email, and phone calls and fill out a Community Needs Assessment survey that was available to the public in digital and printed forms in multiple languages. All in all, more than 20,000 Pennsylvanians participated. To begin implementing the plan, PDA is requesting $11.7 million in Governor Shapiro's 2024-2025 proposed budget.

To learn more about Aging Our Way, PA and the services and programs provided by the Department of Aging, visit PDA's website and Facebook page.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jack Eilber, agingcomms@pa.gov

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