At the Governor’s request, Elder Affairs developed an Aging Agenda. It recognizes that aging is a lifelong process, beginning at birth, and that healthy lifestyle habits that people develop when they are young, will yield a better quality of later life.
Viewed as a lifelong process and enhanced by sensible eating, exercise, education, economic and employment choices, aging becomes a natural part of the individual and community experience. Aging is transformed from a finite point in the lifespan – one that separates older people from the rest of society – to a lifelong journey involving everyone. In addition, the Aging Agenda, with its nine principles for achieving the best possible quality of life, is dedicated to eliminating ageism.
In keeping with the principles of the Aging Agenda, the Commonwealth provides a broad range of services to elders across the state; this includes the administration and oversight of programs and services on behalf of the Commonwealth's million-plus elder population. Our elder-serving agencies promote the dignity, independence, and rights of Massachusetts elders, and support their families through advocacy and the development and management of community-based programs and services. Through a statewide elder network, we provide services locally via Aging Services Access Points (ASAP), Councils on Aging (COA) and senior centers in communities across the Commonwealth. This network reaches out to elders in need of services that include home care, nutrition and caregiver support, protective services, health and wellness services, among many other services and supports.
Additionally, in conjunction with Elder Affairs, MassHealth provides financial support for low income elders including important health-care services such as doctors' visits; hospital stays; prescriptions; and long term care services and supports. MassHealth also pays for Medicare Part B premiums, copayments, and deductibles for certain MassHealth members.
Starting in 2011, 8,000 members of the Baby Boomer generation will reach the age of 65 each day. It is projected that Massachusetts residents ages 60+ will grow by nearly 30% between the years 2010 and 2020. It is important to be prepared for the influx of this new wave of elders, while also ensuring that the Commonwealth effectively serves all elders across the state. Elder Affairs is working to ensure that Massachusetts is prepared to utilize the resources of this population as well as serving those individuals and their families with a need for services and supports.
- Expand income and financial support opportunities for all elders in the Commonwealth including employment, benefits eligibility and personal planning opportunities
- Improve the capacity, quality and availability of community-based long term care service and supports
- Improve awareness of, and access to available LTC services and supports
- Expand access to home and community-based long-term care services and supports in order to help individuals of all ages transition from institutional care and prevent unnecessary institutionalization
- Increase the supports available to informal caregivers such as, respite and supportive services in order to encourage continuation of informal care giving
This information is from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.