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A Master Plan to Support Older Adults

Plan seeks to better coordinate resources for older Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities

September 06, 2023

Pennsylvania is developing a master plan to support the quality of life of older adults.

This month, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to provide input on a needs assessment to capture the experience of older adults and adults with disabilities throughout the commonwealth. The community input is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s effort to develop a 10-year master plan as outlined in Governor Josh Shapiro’s executive order.

"The master plan will be crafted by Pennsylvanians, for Pennsylvanians,” Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • About the plan:  The plan seeks to address the “changing needs and preferences of older Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvanians with disabilities,” while recognizing “the momentum, experience, longevity, economic contributions, and wisdom of older adults and people with disabilities and how these individuals add energy, vitality, and possibility to Pennsylvania.”
  • Demographics:  Pennsylvania ranks fifth for its population of older adults (3.4 million), and its older adult population grew from 15.4 percent in 2010 to 17.8 percent in 2020, state officials said.
  • Adult disabilities by type:  The most common disability types among Pennsylvania adults are mobility (11%), cognition (11%), challenges with independent living (7%), hearing (6%), and vision (4%).
  • Put to use:  Once finalized, the master plan will provide goals, opportunities, and challenges to support older adults and people with disabilities and track ongoing efforts to achieve those goals. It also will help guide the coordination of services for these groups.
  • Quotable:  "We want to create a plan that the department, its stakeholders, older adults, all Pennsylvanians can stand by,” Kavulich said.

A link to the needs assessment is available online and residents can provide input via email.  Additional information about the master plan is available online.

The state also is hosting virtual listening sessions to provide more information about the development of the plan.