New York State Department of Health and Office for the Aging Hold Town Hall On Long Island to Outline the Master Plan for Aging and Receive Public Input

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 17, 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 on Long Island.

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. Today's meeting, which took place at Temple Am Echad in Lynbrook, provided information about the MPA while offering an opportunity for the public to add their input.

"These public input sessions are critical to ensuring we build a responsive Master Plan for Aging 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, "The Master Plan for Aging is diligently committed to addressing the diverse needs and aspirations of New Yorkers throughout the entire state through a transparent and accessible process. This approach accommodates older adults, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers from all walks of life. Essential elements, such as Town Hall meetings like the one held on Long Island, actively seek input from New Yorkers, which will contribute to the creation of an inclusive and supportive framework. This framework aims to empower older and disabled New Yorkers to age with dignity within their communities. Governor Hochul has spearheaded an initiative that unites individuals from various regions and backgrounds across New York. The overarching objective is to foster consensus in the transformation of our existing support systems, ultimately positioning our state as a frontrunner in both quality of life and quality of care for present and future generations."

Master Plan for Aging Vice Chairman and Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, "New York has a rich history of supporting age-friendly communities. Under the leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul and the state's Master Plan for Aging, we are building on this tradition with a truly historic approach focused on supporting older adults and their families holistically. For residents of Long Island, the Master Plan for Aging is examining key issues that especially affect older adults and all New Yorkers as they age, from housing to community design and transportation to economic security, and more. We appreciate the opportunity to hear from Long Islanders on these and other issues that will translate into substantive recommendations at the core of New York's Master Plan."

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 and share their input on how the MPA can best serve their needs. The survey 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.