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NYS Releases Preliminary Progress Report on Master Plan for Aging

A preliminary report on NY’s Master Plan for Aging (MPA) was publicly released on Sept. 7th, detailing the progress thus far of the MPA State Agency Council, Stakeholder Advisory Committee, and issue-focused workgroups and outlining next steps to develop the most age- and disability-friendly policies in the nation.

Since the signing of Executive Order 23 in late 2022, the NYS Department of Health (DOH) and Office for the Aging (SOFA) have worked to coordinate 351 total subject matter experts in fields ranging from aging, medicine, and home care to transportation, technology, housing, and more.

These individuals collectively held 309 meetings through the end of August 2023 with the goal of issuing an interim report of recommendations by Jan. 9, 2024, and a final report by July 9, 2024, to inform the final MPA due in January 2025. Additionally, DOH and SOFA had convened three public MPA Town Halls as of the publication of the report, in NYC, Albany, and Plattsburgh.

The preliminary report reiterates that the final MPA will provide a comprehensive set of options to be considered by the Governor. Recommendations will be organized around short-, medium-, and long-term goals and will account for urgency, impact, fiscal implications, and challenges to implementation, as well as the ability to advance key priorities. The preliminary report also notes that the final MPA will not be the end of the process: participants from government and stakeholder groups have been asked to continue their work beyond the issuance of the MPA, and implementation will be measured and organized around two-year, five-year, and 10-year benchmarks.

The preliminary report was expected in early July and was ultimately published on Aug. 28th before its September public release; as such, the report stresses that it is a “snapshot in time of the State’s progress” that can help readers understand the overarching issues being discussed.

Notably, the report includes the topical “pillars” that are expected to form the foundation of the ongoing work and recommendations of the MPA. Those pillars include:

  • housing access and community planning;
  • informal caregiver and workforce support;
  • affordability of basic necessities for older adults;
  • access to services in, and engagement with, historically marginalized communities;
  • modernization and financial sustainability of health care, residential facilities, and community-based aging network service providers;
  • social engagement of older adults;
  • promoting health and access to services and supports in rural communities;
  • combating elder abuse, ageism, and ableism;
  • technology access and development; and
  • prevention and wellness promotion and access.

For each of these pillars, the report offers goals and potential solutions for consideration in later stages of the MPA process.

Moving forward, New Yorkers can expect additional Town Halls – like those held in Buffalo last week – as well as subject-specific roundtables and a public survey later in 2023, all opportunities for members, staff, residents, and their families to share their experiences with and insights on how to improve aging in NYS. Ultimately, the State’s MPA website will also be adapted to include a dashboard that will allow the public to monitor the Plan’s progress and implementation.

LeadingAge NY staff and members will continue their participation in the MPA’s issue-focused subcommittees and workgroups and will report on the latest news throughout the process here.

Contact: Annalyse Komoroske Denio, akomoroskedenio@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8866