There are over 1 million Massachusetts residents age 60+, making up over 14 percent of the state’s population. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (Elder Affairs) created this age plan, following the requirements of the Older Americans Act, to prepare for the changing needs of its growing older adult population, and help them live independently within their community for as long as possible.
This plan was organized as a resource for offering services and programs that promote and extend seniors’ independence, dignity, health, and fulfillment. Based on a needs assessment survey conducted by Elder Affairs, the following recommended service supports are most important to undertake: improving access/increase public and para-transit options, expanding affordable housing options, increasing the home and health care workforce, promoting healthy aging through fitness, establishing an organized information system for those seeking long-term support, investing in outreach to raise awareness around services and supports, and expanding protective services. Providing comprehensive information about issues, service options, and programs is crucial to allowing elders to remain in their homes and community-based settings for as long as possible.
Other plan highlights include:
- Massachusetts target populations include elders in greatest economic need and those that are physically and socially isolated. Additionally, they target aging adults with limited English proficiency and those living in rural areas, all of which have limited access to identify and receive necessary services.
- Massachusetts sees transportation needs as an important factor in their planning efforts because access to health care, community events, shopping, and other important services are central to helping elders age in place.
How to Use
Elder Affairs conducted a needs assessment study to gather information on the needs of aging adults in the Massachusetts area. This survey, which compiled information elders and their support networks, communities, and the general public, can be used as a model for other local officials and planners organizing state plans. The plan, as an example of how one state plans to build greater capacity in home and community-based services and settings, can be extremely useful for other local officials with a similar planning goal.
View full report: The Aging of Massachusetts: State Plan on Aging – 2010-2013 (PDF – 6 MB)