HHS Delivers Strategic Framework for National Plan on Aging – HHS.gov

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Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its Administration for Community Living, released “Aging in the United States: A Strategic Framework for a National Plan on Aging.” The report lays the groundwork for a coordinated effort – across the private and public sectors and in partnership with older adults, family caregivers, the aging services network, and other stakeholders – to create a national set of recommendations for advancing healthy aging and age-friendly communities that value and truly include older adults. The national plan on aging will advance best practices for service delivery, support development and strengthening of partnerships within and across sectors, identify solutions for removing barriers to health and independence for older adults, and more. Developed by leaders and experts from 16 federal agencies and departments working together through the Interagency Coordinating Committee (ICC) on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities, the report also reflects input from community partners and leaders in the aging services network.
“Ensuring that every American can age with dignity has been a priority throughout the Biden-Harris Administration and is at the core of our work at HHS,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “From day one, we have focused on lowering prescription drug costs, improving support for family caregivers, strengthening the workforce that provides in-home services, increasing access to health care and more to support older adults. The Strategic Framework provides a roadmap for us to build upon that progress to improve the experience of aging in our country.” 
“The rapidly growing population of older adults creates an urgent need for thoughtful planning and coordinated action to strengthen the systems that support health and wellbeing as we age,” said Alison Barkoff, who leads the Administration for Community Living. “ACL was proud to lead the development of this strategic framework, and we are excited to work with our partners at every level of government, across sectors, and with older adults to develop a national plan on aging.”
The Strategic Framework captures the opportunities and challenges created by the aging of the U.S.  population and defines goals and objectives for addressing critical aging issues. It considers the many factors that influence the aging experience, as well as things all people need as they age, such as coordinated housing and services, aligned health care and supportive services, accessible communities, age-friendly workplaces, and high-quality long-term services and supports. Within these, the framework discusses key issues and work underway across the federal government, such as availability of affordable and accessible housing and promoting economic and financial security.
On June 10 at 2 p.m., ACL will host a public webinar to provide an overview of the Strategic Framework (advance registration is required.) In the coming months, the ICC will engage with stakeholders across the nation to explore the opportunities and issues in the Strategic Framework and inform the development of the national plan on aging. 
The report includes contributions from eight HHS divisions, as well as the U.S. Departments of: Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the Social Security Administration; and AmeriCorps.
“Older adults everywhere deserve reliable, high-quality, age-friendly care that allows them to engage in their communities and pursue meaningful activities through optimal health, wellness, and functioning,” said Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Director Dr. Robert Otto Valdez. “AHRQ is a proud partner in the Strategic Framework in providing healthcare systems and clinicians with the clinical decision support, evidence-based tools, and other resources necessary to fully address the needs and desires of older patients regardless of their care setting.”
“Older adults are integral to the health of our nation and our AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers demonstrate this every day through the impactful service they provide communities,” said Michael D. Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps. “The Aging in the United States: A Strategic Framework for a National Plan on Aging speaks to the importance of engaging older adults in their communities in meaningful ways that give them purpose, allow them to share their knowledge and skills, and improve their health and wellbeing. AmeriCorps Seniors research showed that after one year of purposeful engagement through our programs, 84 percent of volunteers reported improved or stable health, 88 percent reported decreased feelings of isolation, and 78 percent felt less depressed. We want this for all older adults, and we are proud to be a part of this national plan on aging.”
“Our programs at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are an important lifeline for Americans, particularly for seniors who can benefit from enjoying community life, physical and mental health services, and community-based services and supports,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “The Strategic Framework’s thoughtful approach complements our work across CMS programs to help make the future of aging brighter by using person-centered approaches to care and services that respect and acknowledge the needs of everyone we serve.”
“Transportation, cited as a major concern by older adults, can prove challenging as we age,” said Federal Transit Administration Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. “More than 85 percent of Americans aged 50 to 80 say that it is important to them to grow older in the place where they live. To enable them to do so, older adults need a robust transportation network, including transit, to get them to healthcare and other activities. Transit investments, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and administered by FTA, are an essential component of an age-friendly community.” 
“Addressing gaps in care and increasing engagement among patients and family members is critical to improving health outcomes for older adults, especially people with specific health care needs like diabetes or mental health conditions,” said Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator Carole Johnson. “HRSA is committed to educating, training, and building capacity of the health care workforce by integrating geriatric care with primary care and other specialties, including HIV care.”
“The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) strongly supports the Strategic Framework, which includes a goal for all older adults to maximize their health and reduce preventable disease and injury through comprehensive care that integrates health and social services in the home or in the community,” said Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D, who leads SAMHSA. “Preventing mental health and substance use conditions, ensuring comprehensive care for those who need it, and supporting individuals in recovery is essential to allow older adults to live long healthy lives.”
“This Framework is an important step towards more comprehensively supporting health and well-being as we age,” said Dr. Tisamarie Sherry, the deputy assistant secretary for behavioral health, disability and aging policy who is performing the delegable duties of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. “ASPE seeks to elevate evidence-based policy – this Framework, and the national plan that will follow, are excellent vehicles to advance policies that work for older adults.”
“As life expectancy rises, we have a unique opportunity to redefine what it means to grow older. At CDC, we envision a world where aging is celebrated and everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” says Debra Houry, M.D., M.P.H., CDC’s chief medical officer. “This framework serves as a roadmap for building age-friendly communities that prioritize the health and wellbeing of older adults.”
“Making sure that older adults can live their healthiest lives is a priority for CDC.  Achieving this goal depends on management and prevention of chronic diseases,” says Karen Hacker, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “The strategies in this framework reflect our dedication to a future where older adults have the resources and community support they need to maintain their health and independence.”
“This report represents a first-of-its-kind and much-needed primer for local, state and federal leaders in the United States, outlining exactly what it will take to support the nation’s growing population of older adults,” said Rear Adm. Paul Reed, M.D., HHS deputy assistant secretary for health. “By identifying the unique needs of older adults living in the United States and the necessary resources and tools to promote their health and well-being, this report is a critical step toward developing and implementing systemic solutions to help older adults thrive.
About the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Health Aging and Age-Friendly Communities
Led by the Administration for Community Living, the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities was established under the Older Americans Act to foster coordination across the federal government and to develop a national set of recommendations on key aging issues.
With first-ever appropriations to support the ICC received in fiscal year 2023, ACL convened leaders and experts across 16 federal agencies and departments to develop the Strategic Framework. The promise embedded in this Strategic Framework, however, extends beyond government coordination. Its vision, values, goals, and actions are intended to create and strengthen cross-sector partnerships and for the betterment of older adults nationwide.
Learn more about the ICC on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities at ACL.gov/ICC-Aging.
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