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Shapiro unveils 10-year strategic plan for aging Pennsylvanians

Gov. Josh Shapiro (Credit: Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
May 31, 2024

SOUDERTON — In an effort to meet the needs of Pennsylvania’s growing population of older citizens, Gov. Josh Shapiro on Friday unveiled his administration’s “Aging Our Way, PA” 10-year strategic plan.

“Pennsylvania’s older population is growing quickly,” Shapiro said during an appearance at Generations of Indian Valley in Montgomery County, noting that 3.8 million Keystone State residents are projected to be 60 years and older by the end of the decade. 

Pennsylvania is the fifth oldest state in the nation; one in four residents are senior citizens. That’s projected to grow to one in three Pennsylvanians by 2030.

“This is a report that’s going to sit in the middle of the conference table and something that we’re going to be able to go back to year after year after year on to the next decade, operating as a roadmap for how we are going to effectively deliver services for seniors all across Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said. 

“The Aging Our Way, PA plan is a bold vision of a future where older adults can age with dignity and independence with the support they need in order to succeed,” he added. 

The plan is broken down into three levels of details, which include five priorities, 36 strategies, and 163 tactics. The five priorities are “unlocking access; aging in community; gateways to independence; caregiver supports; and education and navigation.”

Shapiro is requesting $11.7 million in his budget proposal to begin implementing the plan. 

One year ago, Shapiro signed an executive order directing the Department of Aging to map out the plan. Since that executive order, officials said on Friday, more than 200 listening sessions were conducted across the state to receive feedback on what should be included in the plan. 

According to Shapiro’s office, Pennsylvania joins California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Vermont as the only states that have crafted and released a master plan on aging.

State Sen. Maria Collett, (D-Montgomery) Chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Aging & Youth Committee, said that the plan sends a clear message to seniors that they matter. 

“This comprehensive and innovative plan will address some of those most pressing issues head on, making sure that older and disabled Pennsylvanians can remain in their homes and communities,” she said. 

Collett cited “affordable and safe housing, reliable transportation, social opportunities, mental health care,” plus caregivers having the resources they need as crucial parts of the plan. 

Shapiro on Trump’s felony convictions

During a Q&A with reporters following the announcement, Shapiro answered a question about Thursday’s guilty verdict against former President Donald Trump. 

“In this country, no one is above the law, and the rule of law matters,” Shapiro said to applause. “As your former attorney general, the rule of law needs to be applied without fear and without favor.” 

Shapiro said he respected the work of the jury and added he’s focused on his work leading Pennsylvania, not a courthouse in New York. 

“At the end of the day, the voters this fall will ultimately have the final say in who they want to lead the nation and how what happened in New York yesterday impacts that decision,” Shapiro said. 

“I recognize that there will be two names on the ballot, at least two names on the ballot for president, but in many ways, I think this election is a referendum on all of us and how much we value freedom, how much we value our democracy, how much we value our institutions and I think every American, certainly here in Pennsylvania, should keep that in mind as they go to vote this fall,” he added.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.