SACRAMENTO, Calif., January 6, 2021—We commend Governor Newsom for his visionary leadership in spearheading California’s first Master Plan for Aging, which was released today. As members of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, we are eager to engage in the critical work needed to turn this 10-year blueprint into system-wide change that equitably uplifts older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers.
We can no longer afford to wait. By 2030, California is slated to double the number of older adults while being a majority-minority state. All the while, the number of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic conditions will continue to grow. This demographic reality touches each of us—as individuals, family members, friends and community members. It also affects our collective ability to provide and pay for the range of services and supports needed for this population.
While the Master Plan for Aging holds tremendous potential, it can only be successful with an ongoing commitment from state and local leaders to prioritize these issues, invest in infrastructure through public/private partnerships, and address the monumental challenges across health care, social supports, housing, transportation, technology, and our workforce.
Today, we face the specter of ageism, ableism and systemic racism, all exacerbated by COVID-19 and its impact on older adults and people with disabilities, especially among women and Black, Native American, Asian Pacific Islander and Latino communities. We need to change the paradigm: Aging and disability should not equal loss and isolation. We need a new narrative. The Master Plan holds the potential to reframe our collective thinking and greatly improve the future health and wellness of all Californians.
We look forward to working with Governor Newsom, the Legislature, local leaders, and private partners in identifying immediate priorities and acting for change now and into the future.
Statements from the Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee:
“California is one of the most racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse states in the nation. Equity issues impact access to services across the state for under-represented, under-served and under-recognized communities. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee affirms the importance of equity in addressing the needs of older adults and people with disabilities, including the workforce, thereby eliminating disparities caused by systemic barriers. It is critical that the Master Plan for Aging include programs that advance equity and that meet the needs of specific populations within the aging community experiencing disparate outcomes in aging due to systemic inequities they have faced throughout their lives. This includes: Black, Latino, Native American, and Asian Pacific Islander , those with limited English proficiency, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and women.”
Long-Term Services and Supports: Affordability and Access
“California’s long-term services and supports (LTSS) system is unaffordable, difficult to navigate, and lacks the capacity to meet population needs, including significant workforce challenges. Instead, we need an adequately-financed system with universal access to LTSS that ensures that all individuals can live where they choose with the services and supports they need to honor their values and preferences.”
Building Age- and Disability-Friendly Communities
“Every Californian should live in and be engaged in communities that are age-friendly, dementia-friendly, disability-friendly, and equitable for all. A livable community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services that can serve all residents—regardless of age or ability. Once in place, those resources enhance personal independence, allow residents to age in place, and foster residents’ engagement in the community’s civic, economic, and social life.”
Skilled Nursing Facilities
“The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on nursing home residents and staff. We need to re-imagine nursing home care in California by developing a strategy for ensuring quality services through a combination of leadership, workforce development, appropriate payment incentives and regulatory oversight.”
“Older adults and people with disabilities should have access to an affordable and integrated health, behavioral health, and an LTSS system that is responsive to the individual as a whole—not idiosyncratic silos based on funding source, administering agency, or local oversight entity. A successful Master Plan will outline an approach that ensures individuals can readily access the information and services they need, when they need it, and where they need it —regardless of eligibility distinction, income level, or place of residence. As such, affordability and access are critical elements to address in the Master Plan.”
Economic Security and Safety
“As we age, we all deserve to be economically secure and to be safe from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and the harms of natural disasters and other emergencies. If our basic security and safety needs are not met—in a way that also ensures our dignity and self-determination—we will not be able to achieve the other, laudable and important goals of the Master Plan for Aging.”
Alzheimer’s Task Force and the Master Plan for Aging
From former First Lady Maria Shriver, Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness, “…it has never been more important to stay the course in preparing and implementing a set of big, bold, and brave recommendations we believe are key components of California’s Master Plan for Aging. Families in every corner of our state are counting on us to take action.”
Follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #MasterPlanForAging.
Members of the Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee (as of 12/2020)
Maya Altman, MPP
Health Plan of San Mateo
City of Grass Valley
Donna Benton, Ph.D.
USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Hon. Cheryl Brown
California Commission on Aging; Former Assembly Member
Laura Carstensen, Ph.D.
Stanford Center on Longevity
St. Mary’s Center
Bruce Chernof, MD, FACP
The SCAN Foundation (retired)
Jennie Chin Hansen, RN, MSN, FAAN
Former CEO of the American Geriatrics Society
Le Ondra Clark Harvey, Ph.D.
California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
California Association of Health Facilities
Disability Rights California
Seniors Council of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties
Belmont Village Senior Living
Darrick Lam, MBA, MSW
ACC Senior Services
David Lindeman, Ph.D.
Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society
Shelley Lyford, MA
Gary and Mary West Foundation
Marty Lynch, Ph.D.
LifeLong Medical Care
California Association of Area Agencies on Aging
California Foundation for Independent Living Centers
Berenice Nunez Constant, MPH
AltaMed Health Services
Jeannee Parker Martin RN MPH
Kevin Prindiville, J.D.
Justice in Aging
Jodi Reid, BA
California Alliance for Retired Americans
Rigo Saborio, MSG
St. Barnabas Senior Services
Judy Thomas, J.D.
Coalition for Compassionate Care
Fernando Torres-Gil, M.S.W., Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Choice in Aging
Nina Weiler-Harwell, Ph.D.
Service Employees International Union local 2015
Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN
University of California Davis
United Domestic Workers of America/AFSCME local 3930