Newsom orders creation of “Master Plan for Aging”
This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order ordering the development of a “Master Plan for Aging” to support the health and well-being of older Californians. The plan, according to the Executive Order, will “serve as a blueprint for state government, local government, private sector and philanthropy to implement strategies and partnerships that promote healthy aging.”
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California’s population over 65 is expected to increase by 4 million people by 2030, according to the Executive Order. The shift in demographics will require the state to enact new policies and to build capacity to support the increased number of seniors in the state.
“Shifts in California’s population over the next decade will present new and different demands on state and local services across all functions of government, as well as families and on older Californians,” reads the Order.
The Executive Order points to the importance for the aging population to be able to remain in their communities and have access to support, resources, and programs related to health, housing, and transportation. The unique needs of older Californians with disabilities is also highlighted in the document.
“The Golden State is getting grayer and we need to be ready for the major population changes headed our way,” said Governor Newsom about the plan. “An aging population will introduce new opportunities for economic and community growth but also drive increased health and long-term care costs. We need a plan that brings everyone to the table – local communities, labor, private sector and philanthropy – to help us understand what’s coming and guide us toward taking better care of older Californians.”
To develop and issue the master plan, the Order calls for the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) to convene a Cabinet-level Workgroup for Aging. CHHS is also ordered to convene a Stakeholder Advisory Committee which includes Research and Long-Term Care Subcommittees.
The Long-Term Care Subcommittee is required to report to Gov. Newsom on the growth, stability, and accessibility of long-term care services in the state by March 2020.
“The Executive Order to develop a Master Plan for Aging is an important first step towards building a future where all Californians, regardless of race, economic status or level of support, can grow old safely, with dignity and independence,” said CHHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a press release. “In the weeks and months ahead, we will engage with our community as a whole, to learn and understand what it will take to build an age-friendly California where older Californians can flourish.”
Newsom ordered that the Master Plan on Aging be completed by October 1, 2020.