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The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some of the deficiencies and inequalities in our current healthcare systems. Recognizing current medical shortcomings and looking to the future (by 2030, California’s over-60 population is projected to grow to 10.8 million), California has created a plan to get ahead of the problem. In June 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order requiring the state of California to create a Master Plan for Aging. The state released the Master Plan for Aging in January 2021 with lofty goals for creating an aging-friendly society by 2030. 

What is the Master Plan for Aging?

As discussed, the population of California is aging. There are shortcomings in not only our medical system’s ability to handle the needs of the aging population but also in its ability to finance them. 

The 5 Goals for 2030:

NOTE: This section is a summary of the 5 goals presented by the California Master Plan for Aging. This summary is sourced from this link

Goal 1: Housing for All Stages & Ages

“We will live where we choose as we age in communities that are age-, disability-, and dementia-friendly and climate- and disaster-ready.” (Source)

These communities are to be designed with age in mind – considering the different stages of life and what they mean for things like accessibility, transportation options, safety, lifestyle, family size, climate and emergency responsiveness, etc.

Goal 2: Health Reimagined.

“We will have access to the services we need to live at home in our communities and to optimize our health and quality of life.” (Source)

Nearly half of Californians will suffer from one or more chronic illnesses at some point in their life. The goal of “health reimagined” is to remove barriers to equal access in health services for minority populations and increase both life expectancy and quality of life.

Goal 3: Inclusion & Equity, Not Isolation.

“We will have lifelong opportunities for work, volunteering, engagement, and leadership and will be protected from isolation, discrimination, abuse, neglect, and exploitation.” (Source)

This goal targets the problem of isolation in our elderly communities by working to improve equality (remove discrimination) of all types, close the technology gap that exists between older and younger generations, tackle elder abuse, and increase opportunities for our elderly to engage in meaningful work (paid or volunteer).

Goal 4: Caregiving that Works

“We will be prepared for and supported through the rewards and challenges of caring for aging loved ones.” (Source)

Our unpaid California caregivers are valued at $63 billion each year and they are often undertrained (or completely untrained). California hopes to change that by creating 1 million high-quality caregiving jobs by 2030. They also plan to expand access to telehealth and remove inequalities that leave our communities of color in a disadvantaged position.

Goal 5: Affording Aging

“We will have economic security for as long as we live.” (Source)

As we age, our economic prospects decrease and almost half of all Americans over the age of 55 do not have adequate savings for retirement. California is taking steps to end homelessness for our elderly, protect against poverty and hunger, as well as work with employers and the federal government to create new retirement savings programs.

How are the California Caregiver Resource Centers Supporting These Efforts?

The implementation of the ambitious Master Plan on Aging will require intense coordination between the many stakeholders. These stakeholders include (but are not limited to) state, local, and federal governments, as well as employers, activist groups, and organizations.

At CRC, we plan to do our part in seeing this initiative to its successful completion by providing resources to unpaid caregivers, supporting initiatives for improvement, and collaborating with the state of California where possible. We are excited to see this initiative take shape over the next several years and will be there to support it wherever we can.

If you provide regular care to your loved one, we are here for you. As a caregiver, you’re faced with new challenges every day. The California Caregiver Resource Centers are a network of eleven independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations across California. They were created with you both in mind and at heart to be a free resource as you navigate the challenging role you’re in. We would love to connect you with your local Center, where they can talk more about local programs for caregivers, answer your questions, and explain how they can best support you.

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