Begin Main Content Area

 PA.Media.BreadCrumbs - MediaBreadCrumbs

Media > Aging > Details

Governor Shapiro and PA Department of Aging Release 10-Year Strategic Plan on Aging Designed to Improve Services for Older Pennsylvanians Now and in the Future

05/31/2024

Aging Our Way, PA will serve as a roadmap for how state, regional, and local agencies can work together to meet the needs of Pennsylvania's senior population, improve Commonwealth services for older Pennsylvanians, and ensure they can age in place, with dignity. 

Souderton, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich announced the publication of Aging Our Way, PA – a 10-year strategic plan that will help transform service delivery to create the age-friendly Commonwealth that all residents deserve now and in the future. Aging Our Way, PA will serve as a roadmap for older adult services in Pennsylvania, ensuring services meet the needs of older adults as they move through different stages of life, addressing everyday issues such as healthcare, transportation, housing, long-term care and social connections.

“Pennsylvania took one year to develop Aging Our Way, PA while other states, like California, took two to three years to complete their plans. By quickly and conscientiously crafting this plan, we are showing residents of our Commonwealth and the nation that we are getting stuff done," said Governor Josh Shapiro. “We all know our older adults are vital members of our communities. As we all age, we deserve the programs and supports we need to thrive. Aging Our Way, PA presents a bold vision for Pennsylvania's future and with the release of this plan, we will begin to lay the foundation to build more inclusive, accessible, and cost-effective systems and infrastructure that support the needs of our community members across the Commonwealth." 

By 2030, the population of Pennsylvanians aged 60 and over is projected to surpass 3.8 million, accounting for 1 in 3 Pennsylvanians, and older Pennsylvanians are expected to outnumber every other age group. Recognizing this rapidly growing population, Governor Shapiro signed an Executive Order in May 2023 directing the Department of Aging (PDA) and other agencies in his Administration to develop a master plan called Aging Our Way, PA. Pennsylvania is the fifth state to release its master plan on aging, joining California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

“We are grateful for Governor Shapiro's recognition of the needs of Pennsylvania's older adults and his support to direct us in crafting a plan that will benefit us all," said Secretary Jason Kavulich. “We know our Commonwealth's older adult population is growing faster than any other demographic, and with that comes opportunities to evaluate how living as an older adult in the Commonwealth is now and how we can make it better in the future. Aging Our Way, PA is the roadmap for making those improvements in the way older adults are cared for, how they receive and connect to services and supports, and how they can get the most out of their communities to age in place."

The goals of Aging Our Way, PA are broken down into three levels of details: five priorities, which are the biggest themes; 36 strategies, which are middle-level guiding ideas; and 163 tactics, which are specific actions with clear results. The plan's five priorities are:

  • Unlocking Access: Designing and offering fair, affordable options and opportunities for all older adults to age in a healthy and active way, no matter what their situation is.
  • Aging in Community: Eliminating barriers so older adults can age in their own homes and communities while being comfortable living in familiar surroundings.
  • Gateways to Independence: Promoting safe, accessible, convenient transportation regardless of personal mobility.
  • Caregiver Supports: Building supports and resources so people who take care of others have the help, training, and rest that they need.  
  • Education & Navigation: Leading a network of community partners to promote services so that information about helpful services is easier for older adults to find.

Aging Our Way, PA is designed to change and grow over the next 10 years based on what people need, what resources exist, and whether the plan is meeting its goals. To begin implementing the plan, PDA is requesting $11.7 million in Governor Shapiro's 2024-2025 proposed budget. ​ ​

More than 20 Commonwealth agencies have committed to helping PDA bring the vision of Aging Our Way, PA to life during the next 10 years. The Department and these agencies will look to local leaders, the private sector, non-profits, service providers, and advocacy partners, including AARP, as partners in the plan's implementation.

“As our population continues to age, Pennsylvania needed to begin addressing a variety of policies such as access to housing and transportation," said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. “Pennsylvanians 50 and older are a vital part of their families and communities. They substantially contribute economically, socially, and intellectually through volunteerism, civic engagement, employment and tourism. Communities that understand this and adopt the principles of livability, which Aging Our Way, PA is built upon, are communities that are healthy and vibrant places to live for Pennsylvanians of all ages that will attract new residents and retain existing ones."  

“Every Pennsylvanian deserves to live and age with dignity. I was honored to welcome Governor Shapiro and Secretary Kavulich to the 12th District to celebrate the completion of Aging Our Way, PA, a comprehensive and innovative roadmap to ensure older and disabled Pennsylvanians can remain in their homes and communities, that their caregivers are supported, and that they have access to the services and resources they need to thrive," said Senator Maria Collett. “As the Democratic Chair of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee, and as a nurse with long-term care experience, I look forward to supporting the funding we need to put this plan into action."

“After months of diligent work, this master plan on aging is finally here," said Senator Judy Ward. “As chair of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, I was honored to be included in the development of this important plan. Aging Our Way, PA consists of input from the Department of Aging, the legislature, and stakeholders from all across Pennsylvania and provides a roadmap forward for how to best care for older adults. I am excited to see how this plan helps our older adults achieve better well-being, quality of life, and independence."

“As the Majority Chair of the House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee, I feel one of our top priorities is to ensure older Pennsylvanians have the ability to age with dignity," said Representative Maureen Madden. “A state initiative driven by stakeholders, this plan touches on every aspect that is important to our seniors. At the heart of it, the plan is intended to let our loved ones age in their homes and in their communities."

“We have to remember that our aging Pennsylvanians are not just those that live in our communities. These are the individuals that educated us, they healed us, they fed us, they played with us when we were young children. They were the ones that taught us religion and taught us our faith and taught us how it is to be good citizens," said Representative Steve Malagari. “I want to thank Governor Shapiro, you have my support, and the entirety of the House Democratic Caucus to make sure that your budget gets through and takes care of older Pennsylvanians. The Aging Our Way plan is a good plan."

"Supporting older adults is not merely a duty; it is a testament to the values of compassion, respect, and gratitude that define our community," said Montgomery County Commissioner Jamila Winder. “As the primary caretaker for my mother, my father, and my grandmother, I have lived through the challenging and humbling experience of caring for seniors. I have deep support and gratitude for Governor Shapiro's prioritization of community, independence, dignity and respect for older adults in the Aging Our Way 10-year plan."

AGING OUR WAY, PA WAS CRAFTED BY PENNSYLVANIA SENIORS & AGING STAKEHOLDERS

Governor Shapiro signed Executive Order 2023-09 in May 2023, tasking PDA with developing this strategic plan. PDA worked with the 52 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), along with the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging (P4A), to host more than 200 virtual and in-person listening sessions across all 67 counties to gather input for the plan from stakeholders, caregivers, older adults, advocates, and anyone planning to age in the Commonwealth. More than 20,000 Pennsylvanians participated in various degrees, with nearly 3,600 comments submitted, and 490 people participating in PDA's virtual sessions.

The Department also invited Pennsylvanians to submit comments on the plan by mail, email, and phone calls, receiving more than 1,600 responses. Additionally, PDA collected data through a Community Needs Assessment that was available to the public in digital and printed forms in multiple languages. This survey, a collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, received nearly 7,000 responses.

The public and stakeholder feedback was based on the eight domains of livability created by the World Health Organization and adapted for the United State by AARP. A steering committee led by the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council reviewed the input and data submitted and crafted recommendation reports for each of the eight domains of livability. These reports outlined the five priorities along with the strategies and actionable tactics to form the basis of Aging Our Way, PA.

During the next decade, PDA will be transparent with tracking the plan's progress, informing the public of that progress, and providing Pennsylvanians opportunities to offer feedback to help keep the plan moving forward.

Pennsylvanians interested in reviewing Aging Our Way, PA and the plan's development can visit the Department of Aging's website.

Governor's Press Office: ra-gvgovpress@pa.gov
Department of Aging: Jack Eilber, agingcomms@pa.gov

# # #


 Content Editor

 PA.AgencyPortal.Media - MediaPageTitle