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With AARP Push, Pennsylvania Will Adopt Master Plan for Older Adults

En español | AARP applauds Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and the state Department of Aging for developing a master plan to ensure residents have the support they need to age in their homes and communities.

In May, the governor signed an executive order calling for the 10-year plan, thanks in large part to AARP’s advocacy. AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh and his team suggested the plan to Shapiro last year while he was campaigning for governor.

The effort comes as the 50-plus population in Pennsylvania and nationwide is growing. The state ranks 10th nationally in the percentage of its population 65 and older, according to U.S. Census Bureau 2020 numbers.

Over the last few months, our state office staff and volunteers joined Department of Aging officials and others for town halls and listening sessions to get input from older Pennsylvanians about what should be addressed in the plan. Older residents and their caregivers have expressed concerns about issues such as affordable housing, transportation and a shortage of home care workers, among others.

“The master plan is a strategic road map with a focus on aging in place,” said Teresa Osborne, AARP Pennsylvania advocacy director. “This effort will ensure that Pennsylvanians of every age and life stage have the opportunity to live in healthy, safe communities that meet their needs.”

AARP Pennsylvania is represented on the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council, which this month began reviewing the feedback that will be used to craft the plan. The plan is expected to be presented to the governor in early 2024.

Once the plan is adopted, the state is expected to request to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, joining 10 other states and one U.S. territory, Osborne said.

Read more about the plan and keep up with our advocacy work in Pennsylvania.

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