Harrisburg – The Senate Aging and Youth Committee, chaired by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24), and the House Committee on Aging and Older Adult Services held a joint public briefing today on the implementation of the 2012-2016 State Plan on Aging.
Every four years, the state Department of Aging prepares a strategic plan, with the input of multiple interests and individuals, focusing on the needs of older Pennsylvanians. The plan fulfills requirements of the U.S. Administration on Aging and Older Americans Act. The document was submitted to the federal government in August 2012 and approved in October 2012.
“With 91 employees serving nearly a million older Pennsylvanians, the state Department of Aging provides a great bang for the buck. But there are always policies and procedures that can be improved or done more efficiently, and implementation of the State Plan on Aging should help make that possible,” said Mensch.
Secretary of Aging Brian Duke discussed the four goals that the department has begun to implement:
- Improve access to care for older individuals at the right time, setting and intensity.
- Empower older individuals to remain in the setting of their choice by serving as a catalyst in developing communities as places in which to age and live well.
- Direct older individuals to the supports necessary to maximize their health and well-being.
- Revitalize and redesign aging services to further enhance the lives of older individuals.
Secretary Duke noted that the department provides services through 52 Area Agencies on Aging serving all 67 counties, and 1,200 care facilities. Services include providing 1.2 million meals for seniors and low-cost prescription drugs through the PACE and PACENET programs.
“Senior citizens are perhaps the largest single constituency in Pennsylvania, and those of us on the Senate Aging and Youth Committee are going to work to ensure that the commonwealth continues to provide some of the best senior services in the nation,” said Mensch.
The 2012-2016 State Plan on Aging can be viewed here.