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HHS Releases a National Plan on Aging

May 30, 2024

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a national plan for healthy aging and “age-friendly” communities.

The national plan will advance best practices for service delivery, strengthen partnerships, and remove barriers to health and independence for older adults, federal officials said.

“From day one, we have focused on lowering prescription drug costs, improving support for family caregivers, strengthening the workforce that provides in-home services, increasing access to health care and more to support older adults,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The strategic framework provides a roadmap for us to build upon that progress to improve the experience of aging in our country.” 

Among the key takeaways:

  • By the numbers:  More than 55 million people in the U.S. are 65 years old or older, representing over 16 percent of our country’s population. This number is expected to grow rapidly in the next 30 years.
  • The issue:  The demand for caregivers for older adults far exceeds the capacity of our health care system, and the gap will only widen as America ages.
  • Focus areas:  The report has four key focus areas related to age-friendly communities; coordinated housing and supportive services; increased access to long-term services and supports; and aligned health care and supportive services.
  • Coming soon:  The Administration for Community Living is hosting a public webinar on the plan.
  • Quotable:  “The rapidly growing population of older adults creates an urgent need for thoughtful planning and coordinated action to strengthen the systems that support health and wellbeing as we age,” said Alison Barkoff, who leads the Administration for Community Living.

The strategic framework is available online.