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Master Plan for Older Adults Overview

The Master Plan for Older Adults Reference Document is an overview of the origins, development process and the core tenets that are shaping this foundational 10-year aging plan for Pennsylvania. The Reference Document is offered to aging stakeholders and all interested individuals as a reference guide when formulating and submitting comments on the plan.

Why Should Pennsylvania do a Master Plan?

  • Pennsylvania expressly values older adults and individuals with disabilities and is committed to building and maintaining an age- and disability-friendly Commonwealth so that all Pennsylvanians may live with dignity and independence.  
  • Pennsylvania is ranked fifth among the fifty states by the sheer size of its older adult population (3.4 million) and seventh by percentage (17.8%) of the total population. 
  • Pennsylvania’s total older adult population grew from 15.4 percent (1.96 million persons) in 2010 to 17.8 percent (2.27 million persons) in 2020.
  • Pennsylvanians with disabilities represent 11% of the population in terms of mobility and cognitive challenges, 7% with regard to independent living, 6% regarding hearing impairment, 4% regarding vision impairment, and 3% with regard to self-care. 

Core Tenets

icon showing talking bubbles Transparency and inclusion involving significant stakeholder- and public-facing engagement as well as a strong communication plan 

icon showing 3 people standing in a groupEmbed diversity, equity, and inclusion in all phases of development,  addressing disparities and promoting equity and inclusion regardless of a person’s age, gender and gender expression, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, economic insecurity, geographic disparity, other marginalized populations not yet identified, and genetic information

icon shows a person lined up in the middle of two hands making a frame with the forefinger and thumbPrinciples of person-centered planning, valuing older Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvanians with disabilities holistically with careful consideration to each person’s unique needs and preferences

icon showind a piece of paper and a plus sign indicating a document that will changeCreation of a living document that will evolve through the 10-year span of the plan based on the changing needs and preferences of older Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvanians with disabilities

icon of lightbulb representing thinking of new ideasA reframe of how we think about, talk about and value older adults and people with disabilities to recognize 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

Gathering Input

The stakeholder engagement process lead by the Department of Aging and arbitrated by the Long-term Care Council and the Governor will involve outreach and requests for input from anyone or any group with an interest or with some interaction toward aging- and disability-related services, programs, and infrastructure.    

Outreach will include:

      • The publication of a reference document
      • Scheduling and holding in person “listening sessions” representing every county in the Commonwealth
      • The use of qualitative interviews, surveys, and focus groups with older Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvanians with disabilities to discuss needs and preferences
      • The use of targeted workgroups and empower them to develop recommendation reports
      • The use of roundtable discussions for input

Stakeholder and public engagement will be used to gather input and comments to support the development of a Master Plan. Stakeholders involved in this effort may include but is not limited to:

      • Beneficiaries
      • Carepartners and Caregivers
      • Area Agencies on Aging
      • Direct care workers and their advocates
      • Community-based organizations
      • Advocates working with older adults and individuals with disabilities
      • Health care and Long-Term Services & Supports providers
      • Technology-sector organizations
      • Housing and transportation entities
      • Educational institutions
      • Livable community experts including those focused on aging in place
      • Civil rights and racial justice groups
      • Large and small employers and businesses

Development Process

The Master Plan development process will involve all levels of government for input and engagement regarding the plan goals, opportunities, and challenges including:

    • County and local government representatives
    • Members of the General Assembly and their staff
    • Federal partners
    • Members of the Executive Branch of State Government, specifically those that are engaged with services and programs that intersect with older adults and individuals with disabilities  

State Agency Involvement

State agencies engaged in this process will include:

Administration and Technology​
Human Services
​Agriculture, Banking & Securities
​Community and Economic Development
Labor and Industry
​Conservation and National Resources
Higher Education Financing
​Court System
​Drug and Alcohol Programs
State Police
​Emergency Services
​Governor's Commissions
​Military and Veterans Affairs
​State Employees' Retirement System
Housing Finance
Public School Employees' Retirement System

After Publication Monitoring

      • The plan will leverage data to inform and help to visualize Master Plan goals, objectives, opportunities, and challenges.  
      • The published plan will identify “quick wins,” aspirational goals, accountability and measurement, and resources for implementation.
      • The plan will include a process for ongoing monitoring of initiatives to measure their effectiveness in supporting its goals and objectives.  
      • The plan will include a public-facing, accessible, and transparent reporting platform to demonstrate how well the Commonwealth is performing against the plan goals and objectives.