By Emily Wu
What is the Master Plan for Aging (MPA)
By 2030, one in four Californians will be over the age of 60, representing greater racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity than ever before. The Master Plan for Aging outlines five goals and twenty-three strategies to build a California for All Ages by 2030. The MPA provides a shared framework to advance system change and positively impact the lives of older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. In Yolo County this effort is led by Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance (YHAA). This article will briefly outline the statewide progress MPA has made so far and the goals for the next year. For more detailed progress updates and 2023-2024 initiatives please visit https://mpa.aging.ca.gov/.
Below are examples of progress highlights from 2022 within each of MPA’s five bold goals. For more information and specifics, please visit https://www.aging.ca.gov/download.ashx?lE0rcNUV0zZ4fIvtjh8hzg%3d%3d
Goal 1: Housing for All Ages & Stages
Nearly half of older same-sex couples have experienced some form of housing discrimination. In Sacramento, the Lavender Courtyard by Mutual Housing focuses on serving low-income LGBTQ+ residents ages 62 and over. It was designed to offer an affirming community for a diversity of people including Sacramento’s LGBTQ+ older adults.
Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance is also doing our part to support this goal. We advocate for and support low-income housing in Yolo County, such as Blue Mountain Terrace in Winters and Bretton Woods in Davis.
Goal 2: Health Reimagined
The San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services’ Age Wise Program targets the underserved older adult population. Over the last three years, more than 99% of Age Wise consumers remained in safe housing, 99% have been linked to Primary Care Providers to address medical needs and preventive care, and more than 98% have avoided costly behavioral health-related hospitalizations.
Goal Three: Inclusion & Equity, Not Isolation
Through a grant from the Suicide Prevention Task Force, Tulare County received funding to
Purchase 100 iPads along with a prepaid data plan and training for local older adults who have been isolated from loved ones and disconnected from the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. YHAA received funding for and implemented a Phone Friend program, to connect volunteers to isolated older adults, as well as a STAR (Senior Technology Assistance and Resources) program, providing laptops, internet access, and college-student trainers to help older adults get digitally connected.
Goal 4: Caregiving That Works
Project Lifesaver, an initiative of Placer County’s Healthy Brain Initiative, is a search and rescue program designed for at-risk individuals with dementia who wander. The program has demonstrated a significant reduction in search times, ensuring the safe return of individuals with dementia. It also involves community policing courses that educate first responders about cognitive disorders.
Goal 5: Affording Aging
Yuba and Sutter Counties have a restaurant voucher program called Dine Around Town that provides participants aged 60 and over with meal vouchers at five local restaurants for a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
2023-2024 Initiatives and Priorities
California will advance 95 new Master Plan for Aging initiatives, building upon the work of the plan’s first two years. Below are examples of an initiative from each of the five goals. Please visit
https://www.aging.ca.gov/download.ashx?lE0rcNUV0zbnAiDTiMJXxA%3D%3D for more details.
Goal One: Housing for All Ages & Stages
Address the housing needs of older adults and people with disabilities by promoting statewide access to connections to social services, healthcare, housing, and home and community-based services.
Goal Two: Health Reimagined
Identify promising practices in collaboration with public/private partners that promote lifelong healthy aging and brain health, while maximizing independence and community integration.
Goal Three: Equity & Inclusion, Not Isolation
Conduct California’s first-ever statewide baseline consumer satisfaction survey to amplify the older adult voice and ensure equity and inclusion of all perspectives, including geography, race, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation, gender identification, age, and ability.
Goal Four: Caregiving That Works
Promote innovative models for Community Health Workers to serve older adults and people with disabilities in home and community-based settings, targeting underserved populations with a focus on equity, including through Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage delivery systems.
Goal Five: Affording Aging
Explore sustainable financing mechanisms to build community infrastructure and ensure access to supportive nutrition services for older adults and people with disabilities.
Upcoming MPA Events
Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance will sponsor town halls in Woodland, West Sacramento, Winters and Davis in May to hear from local older adults on their status and future needs and update them on the Master Plan for Aging. This effort is supported with a grant from The SCAN Foundation.