Creating the Strategic Framework for a National Plan on Aging

You may have heard that the federal government is developing a strategic framework for a national plan on aging. Read on to learn more about these efforts and how to get involved.

Aging in America and the Case for a National Plan on Aging

There are more than 77 million adults ages 60 and older living in the United States, representing more than 23% of its total population, and this cohort is expected to continue growing rapidly in the coming years. In addition, more people are aging with a disability. Our changing demographics require all levels of government, along with key partners, to coordinate vital programs, services and resources to support older adults and people aging with disabilities to live their best lives.

Around the globe—and across the United States—there is growing momentum for the development of government plans on aging to foster that collaboration and create or strengthen multisector and public-private partnerships to promote community living; enable independence, health and well-being; and to create environments that embrace the experience, wisdom and value of older adults.

The ICC and the Community Engagement Collaborative are conducting virtual and in-person listening sessions to engage with older adults across the nation, particularly those with the greatest social and economic need.

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities (ICC), seeks to build upon government plans to develop a strategic framework for a national plan on aging. This strategic framework will be built upon the fundamental truth that older adults are of great value to our society as leaders, volunteers, experts, workers and contributors, with the recognition that often barriers prevent their engagement and health.

Overview of the ICC on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities

The ICC, which is authorized by the Older Americans Act and received its inaugural appropriation in fiscal year (FY) 2023, fosters interagency coordination to address key aging issues. This framework will lay the foundation for subsequent action and implementation plans that work toward a vision for an America that values older adults, embraces aging, and recognizes that all people have the right to live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. It will encourage us to be a nation that prioritizes independence, inclusion, well-being and health across the lifespan.

The ICC is led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Through the ICC, agencies from across the federal government are working together to create this strategic framework in the following domains:

  • coordinated housing and supportive services;
  • aligned healthcare and supportive services;
  • age-friendly communities; and,
  • increased access to long-term services and support.

The FY 2023 appropriation also directed the ICC to focus on falls prevention among older adults and to inform a potential 2025 White House Conference on Aging.

A Unique Public-Private Partnership

The ACL is working in partnership with three philanthropic organizations— The John A. Hartford Foundation, The SCAN Foundation, and West Health—that have come together to form the National Plan on Aging Community Engagement Collaborative. These three organizations not only support improving care for older adults but also are leaders at the state level in promoting multisector plans for aging (MPAs).

To inform the ICC’s work, the Community Engagement Collaborative recently worked with the Long-Term Quality Alliance to conduct a series of interviews with key federal officials and stakeholders focused on serving older adults and people with disabilities. These interviews highlighted the impact of MPA’s 10-plus-year blueprints for restructuring state and local policies to meet the needs of older adult populations, and the opportunity for the ICC to build upon and inform these state-level efforts.

Next, the ICC and the Community Engagement Collaborative will conduct virtual and in-person listening sessions to engage with older adults across the nation, particularly those with the greatest social and economic needs, to explore key aging issues. These listening sessions will be organized to solicit feedback that reflects older adults’ cultural and geographic variation. The ICC also may consider a range of other activities to augment these listening sessions, such as surveys, requests for comment or town halls.

Learn More at On Aging

To learn more about the ICC and its work, please attend a stakeholder session at ASA’s On Aging conference in San Francisco at the end of March. The session will be held from 1:30–2:30 p.m., PT, on Mon., March 25. You will hear from ACL leaders about the ICC’s ongoing work and opportunities to get involved.

Kari Benson, MA, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging; Kelly Cronin, MS, is the Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Partnership; Vicki Gottlich, JD, is the Deputy Administrator for Policy and Evaluation; and Jennifer Baker, MPH, is an advisor, all at the Administration for Community Living. Amy Herr, MHS, is director of Health Policy at West Health and a member of ASA’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Rani Snyder, MPA, is vice president, Program and a member of ASA’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, and Scott Bane, JD, MPA, is senior program officer, both at The John A. Hartford Foundation. Narda Ipakchi, MBA, is vice president of Policy, and Erin Westphal, MS, is a program officer, both at The SCAN Foundation.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/NIKS ADS