Submitted in compliance with the Older Americans Act, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) developed its four-year strategic plan in order to outline existing programs and new initiatives during 2011-2015. Though the plan meets the unique needs of New York State, community planners and local governments can use the plan to find solutions and ideas in their own regions.
New York State has a current population of 3.7 million seniors projected to swell to comprise 23 percent of the state’s overall population by 2020. The minority older population of New York is expected to grow by 51 percent between 2010 and 2020, and the 85+ demographic is expected to grow by 81 percent. New York is unusual in that it has remarkably stable out and in-migration patterns (page 20-21). Essentially, people move out young or newly retired and move back old, when later life stages require being closer to family and social ties. Planners should note that migration patterns have fiscal impact on revenue, and therefore, on funding age-related services. In the case of New York, lower revenue due to younger out-migration has to fund late in life in-migration age-related services. But with all of these challenges, New York is piloting new programs and initiatives that make it a state planners and governments should emulate.
Other plan highlights include:
- Livable New York is an initiative including seven other organizations to retro-fit New York communities to become livable for older adults. Planners take notice. Livable New York is a state-wide initiative that is working and is expanding rapidly. A part of the NYSOFA’s projected goals include a community assessment that allows residents to determine which aspects of livability are lagging in their own area.
- Overall, the plan repeatedly emphasizes the importance of case management as a pivotal driver of success. This appears in a variety of NYSOFA goals and funding options. This emphasis on case management as a driver of providing care is unique in Aging State Plans nationally.
- NYSOFA has received additional grant monies to “link a Care Transitions nurse through Northeast Health with the volunteer CSN to empower older adults to manage and adhere to their care plan” (page 30). This is not an inconsequential supplement. NYSOFA is trying to reduce the number of re-hospitalizations and increase the importance of non-medical volunteers by providing access to medical specialists. Outcomes would include lower health-care costs, more aging in place, greater customized care for chronic sickness, and potentially greater partnerships with non-medical organizations.
How to Use
Community planners and local governments should pay attention to this state plan. In addition to those aforementioned highlights, New York State is attempting a number of pilot programs through partnerships (a notable pilot program in cooperation with n4a is in the senior employment sector), in order to discover what works for their large number of older adults. Planners can learn from New York State initiatives.
View full report: New York State Plan on Aging – 2011-2015 (PDF – 1.2 MB)