Pennsylvania Senators Unveil ‘Aging Our Way, PA’: A 10-Year Roadmap for Lifelong Independence

Senator Collett SeniorSubmitted Image

HARRISBURG, PA — To address the needs of Pennsylvania’s aging population, Senators Maria Collett (D-12) and Judy Ward (R-30), Chairs of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee, have announced the publication of “Aging Our Way, PA: A Plan for Lifelong Independence.” The plan, which is open for public comment until March 20, 2024, outlines a comprehensive strategy for the next decade.

“Every Pennsylvanian deserves to live and age with dignity,” said Senator Collett. “This plan will help ensure that 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.”

The plan is not merely a product of policymaking but a collective effort involving the Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA), Pennsylvania’s Aging Network, and various senior centers. Over 200 Listening Sessions were conducted across all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, providing valuable insights into the challenges faced by older adults.

Five key priorities emerged from these sessions: Unlocking Access, Aging In Community, Gateways to Independence, Caregiver Supports, and Education & Navigation. These priorities form the backbone of the strategic plan, addressing critical areas of concern such as accessibility to services, support for caregivers, and promoting independence among older adults.

This initiative is particularly important given the projected increase in Pennsylvania’s older adult population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030, nearly one in four Pennsylvanians will be aged 60 or older. As such, the need for a strategic and comprehensive plan to cater to this demographic is more urgent than ever.

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Senator Ward emphasized the importance of public participation in shaping the final plan. “To create a plan that best serves Pennsylvania’s older adults, we need input from those who know best what that community most needs,” she said.

The public is encouraged to review the draft plan and share their feedback via PDA’s webform, by mail, or by emailing agingplan@pa.gov.

“Aging Our Way, PA” is more than just a plan; it’s a commitment to ensuring that older Pennsylvanians can lead independent, fulfilled lives in their communities. By focusing on accessibility, community living, independence, caregiver support, and education, Pennsylvania is taking a proactive approach to addressing the needs of its aging population. The public comment period, open until March 20, provides an opportunity for all Pennsylvanians to contribute to this vital initiative.

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