Shaping the Future: Governor Shapiro Unveils PA’s 10-Year Plan for Aging Services

Aging PlanCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

SOUDERTON, PA — On Friday, Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich unveiled a new blueprint for enhancing services targeted at the state’s elderly population, aptly titled “Aging Our Way, PA.” This strategic 10-year plan aims to transform how state, regional, and local agencies work together to meet the needs of Pennsylvania’s fast-growing senior population and improve their quality of life.

“Aging Our Way, PA” is a well-designed roadmap that addresses the needs of older adults at different stages of their life, tackling everyday issues such as healthcare, transportation, housing, long-term care and social connections. By putting in place a comprehensive strategy, Pennsylvania hopes to provide services that meet the dynamic needs of older adults, enabling them to age with dignity and independence.

“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,” said Governor Shapiro.

By 2030, it is projected that the population of Pennsylvanians aged 60 and above will surpass 3.8 million, making up one in three residents. This plan comes in light of this rapidly growing demographic and aims to ensure that the older citizens are adequately cared for.

“Aging Our Way, PA” aims to offer fair and affordable options for all older adults to lead healthy and active lives, regardless of their situation. It aims to eliminate barriers so that older adults can age in their own homes and communities, comfortably. A significant part of the plan involves building supports and resources for caregivers, emphasizing the need for proper training and rest. Furthermore, the plan also seeks to streamline information availability, making details about helpful services easily accessible for older adults.

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Over 20 state agencies have pledged their support to this 10-year framework, promising to help turn the vision into a tangible reality. These agencies, along with local leaders, the private sector, non-profits, service providers, and advocacy partners, will work in tandem to implement the plan.

AARP Pennsylvania State Director, Bill Johnston-Walsh, noted that Pennsylvanians aged 50 and over are a vital part of their families and communities. He also emphasized that communities that adopt the principles of livability, a cornerstone of “Aging Our Way, PA,” will be more attractive and vibrant living spaces for all residents, regardless of age.

“Aging Our Way, PA” is designed to evolve over the next 10 years based on the needs of the people, available resources, and the achievement of set goals. This proactive approach demonstrates the state’s readiness to adapt to a changing demographic and societal landscape.

This comprehensive plan could be a significant milestone in shaping the lives of older Pennsylvanians, ensuring that they remain essential members of the community as they age. The state initiative reflects the ethos of compassion, respect, and gratitude that define Pennsylvania as a community and shows a commitment to caring for its aging citizens.

“Aging Our Way, PA” aptly illustrates the power of strategic planning, community involvement, and cross-sector collaboration in addressing pressing societal issues. It’s a model effort demonstrating how deliberate and thoughtful planning can lead to a significant positive impact on the lives of one of the most vulnerable segments of the population.

For Pennsylvanians, this is more than just about aging. It’s about treating the elders with the respect they deserve and ensuring they continue to live fulfilled lives while contributing meaningfully to society.

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