Older adults riding bikes.
October 20, 2023

New York State Department Of Health And Office For The Aging Hold Town Hall In Flushing To Outline The Master Plan For Aging And Receive Public Input

New York State Department Of Health And Office For The Aging Hold Town Hall In Flushing To Outline The Master Plan For Aging And Receive Public Input

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 18, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) continued their series of statewide meetings on the State’s Master Plan for Aging (MPA), with a session today in Flushing.

The MPA is a blueprint designed to meet the health and wellness needs of individuals with disabilities and all generations of New Yorkers as they age. The meeting took place at the Queens Library in Flushing, in partnership with the office of Assembly Committee on Aging Chair Ron Kim, providing information about the MPA while offering an opportunity for the public to add their input.

“As we create the Master Plan for Aging, public input from these Town Hall meetings are critical to ensuring we build a responsive blueprint that will provide access to programs and services so all New Yorkers feel empowered to make decisions that will enable them to age in their communities with dignity and grace,” State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “The MPA process, under Governor Kathy Hochul’s visionary leadership, is providing us with an important means of identifying and addressing the most pressing concerns of New Yorkers, so they can remain in the communities of their choice, with access to the supports they need.”

Master Plan for Aging Chairman and Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Adam Herbst, Esq., from the Office of Aging and Long Term Care said, Ensuring that the Master Plan for Aging is an accurate reflection of the needs and aspirations of New Yorkers throughout the entire state is of utmost importance. The Town Hall meetings play a crucial role in guaranteeing a transparent and accessible process that effectively represents the concerns of older adults, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers from a wide array of backgrounds. The input acquired during sessions like the one held in Queens will serve as the cornerstone for developing an all-encompassing, supportive framework aimed at empowering older and disabled New Yorkers to age with dignity within their respective communities. Governor Hochul has introduced an innovative approach that unites individuals from diverse regions and backgrounds across New York, fostering consensus in the transformation of our existing support systems. The overarching goal is to position our state as a trailblazing leader in terms of both quality of life and quality of care, not only for the present generation but for generations to come.”

Master Plan for Aging Vice Chairman and Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “Under the leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul, New York's Master Plan for Aging is committed to meeting the diverse needs of all New Yorkers as they age. I appreciate the opportunity to bring this conversation to one of New York's most culturally diverse communities to hear about the priorities of older adults in Flushing and throughout Queens. I specifically thank Assemblyman Ron Kim for partnering with us on today's event and sharing in this forum to hear directly from Queens residents about ways to reinforce New York's commitment to age-friendly communities.”

Information about upcoming and past MPA community engagement sessions, including archive recordings of previous town halls and printable resources, is available on the State’s MPA website.

Governor Kathy Hochul established the MPA in November 2022 under Executive Order 23 with the goals of improving the lives of today’s older New Yorkers and people with disabilities, and building a better system of care and more inclusive communities for the future. The MPA is also focused on improving the recruitment, retention, and training of long-term care workers.

During the Town Hall, MPA Chair and the Department of Health’s Office of Aging and Long Term Care Deputy Commissioner Adam Herbst led the discussion, joined by MPA Vice Chair and New York State Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen. They outlined the short and long-term goals of the MPA and sought comments and questions about MPA focus areas from those attending in-person and online.

The Department and NYSOFA also urged those attending the Town Hall and the public to complete the recently launched MPA survey, which is available in English and 16 additional languages here. Print versions are also available for download here. The survey ends December 31, 2023.

New York is the first state to officially receive AARP's age-friendly designation. The MPA will build on that status by coordinating existing and new state policies and programs for older adults and their families and those living with disabilities, while also addressing challenges related to communication, coordination, caregiving, long-term care financing, and innovative care models. Ultimately, the MPA will provide guidance for building healthy, livable communities that offer opportunities for older adults, with sustained attention on ensuring equity in aging and disability.

The MPA process involves a Master Plan for Aging Council of state agencies, a Stakeholder Advisory Committee of experts in the field of aging, and an Association Resource Committee that are working together to advance proposals and recommendations for consideration in the final MPA report, which is expected in early 2025.

Future Town Hall events are being planned in other regions of the state in the coming months.

To learn more about the Master Plan for Aging, visit the MPA website here.