GUEST BLOG: Help Us Develop a Plan to Protect and Serve PA’s Seniors

By: Teresa Osborne, Secretary, Secretary of Aging

May 18, 2016

Did you know that Pennsylvania has more than 2.9 million residents age 60 and older? By 2020, the population of older Pennsylvanians is projected to increase by 25%.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is committed to protecting this growing population of seniors and to providing the best possible services to all of our aging residents. So that we may continue to receive federal funds which support the array of programs and services which help older Pennsylvanians age in place, my department is currently seeking comment on our proposed State Plan on Aging.

The plan that we are currently developing will cover October 2016 to September 2020. By completing this plan, the department will receive federal funds. These funds are used for vital services such as:

  • support services,
  • nutrition programs,
  • disease prevention,
  • health promotion initiatives,
  • caregiver support programs,
  • and elder rights protection activities.

As part of our plan development process, department staff has engaged in vital conversations with the public: including the vast network of area agencies on aging and the Pennsylvania Council on Aging.

We held seven Community Listening Forums across the commonwealth, where we sought input on aging services in Pennsylvania.

All of these elements were brought together to create a draft State Plan.

This draft contains the goals, objectives, and strategies developed during the planning process thus far. Our draft builds upon my department’s foundation of prevention and protection. The goals include the efforts that the Department of Aging puts forth in order to carry out our objectives:

  • promoting existing services,
  • improving access to services,
  • enhancing the quality of services,
  • and empowering the workforce.

Now, we need to hear input from you about our draft so that we can design and submit a final plan that best reflects and responds to the needs of older Pennsylvanians.

To comment on our draft plan, please visit and click on ‘State Plan.’ Under ‘Event Info,’ click on ‘Public Hearings.’ Directions for the different ways to offer comment are listed here. All comments must be received by May 24, 2016.

You can also make arrangements to attend a public hearing near you. Public Hearings are scheduled for

  • May 18th in Allegheny County,
  • May 19th in Dauphin County,
  • and May 24th in Philadelphia County.

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