The Master Plan for Aging Releases its First Annual Report

With its Five Bold Goals and 23 Strategies, the Master Plan for Aging has inspired unprecedented levels of coordinated action across California's growing network of aging and disability providers, policy makers, advocates, and experts. Learn how the many initiatives detailed in the MPA have advanced during its first year of implementation by viewing the newly released 2022 MPA Annual Report .

Master Plan: 5 Bold Goals

Goal three for 2030
Goal three: 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."

Target: Keep Increasing Life Satisfaction as We Age

View Goal Three’s data indicators and track our progress at the Data Dashboard for Aging.

Older adults have many essential roles in California’s communities: workers, business owners, volunteers, community leaders, mentors, lifelong learners, neighbors, friends, family members, and more. Each of these roles can provide a vital sense of purpose at any age. A cornerstone of building a California for all ages is continuing, evolving, and creating new opportunities for meaningful engagement at 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100-plus years old.

Digital technologies are fostering new opportunities for connection and inclusion for work, play, community, culture, and commerce. However, over two million Californians do not have access to high-speed internet and approximately 34 percent of adults over 60 do not use the Internal at all. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought these issues into greater focus and heightened the need for improved access to broadband, digital devices, and technology support for older adults.

Employment and volunteer opportunities, particularly those offering intergenerational engagement, can provide a powerful sense of purpose and connection. Over the past five years, Californians over the age of 55 accounted for 29 percent of all new employment. Many older adults need or want to keep working – at least part time. However, two thirds of older adults seeking employment cite age discrimination as a challenge to finding work.

Older adults can also be a major source of volunteers. Many older adults, especially if paid work and caregiving responsibilities become lighter, choose to devote time and energy to their communities – for example serving at food banks, as tutors to young children, and as poll workers.

One of the greatest threats to full inclusion and equity for all ages is elder abuse, which is estimated to impact 10 percent of older adults living at home and to result in losses totaling in the billions of dollars annually. Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, abandonment, isolation, financial, neglect, self-neglect, and mental suffering. Women are as much as 35 percent more likely than men to suffer from some form of it. Our growing aging population requires increased planning and coordination to prevent growing abuse.

To build a California for all ages, all stakeholders and partners agree: leadership is key. California has a long tradition of extraordinary aging leadership, stretching back decades. (see Listening to our Elders). The State now has a growing and diversifying community of leaders at all levels poised to build on this foundation for the future, bringing forward the best of proven practices and new innovations to meet the needs of people we serve. Throughout this network, older adults and people with disabilities are the true leaders and essential participants in all planning, policy, programs, and advocacy.

California will pursue inclusion and equity, and prevent isolation, through the below strategies and initiatives:

Strategy A: Inclusion and Equity in Aging

As the most racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse state in the nation, California can lead in combatting ageism, ableism, racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, and all prejudices and in expanding opportunities for all older adults and people with disabilities to be economically, civically, and socially engaged, without experiencing discrimination or bias. California’s aging and disability leaders, providers, and partners are committed to becoming increasingly culturally responsive through strategies including trainings, data collection, public campaigns (including with partners in California’s entertainment industry), and targeted equity and inclusion goals in workforce, service planning, and service delivery.

  • Initiative 75

    - Continue to expand culturally and linguistically competent communications to older adults, people with disabilities, and families. (Lead Agencies: CHHS, GovOps)
  • Initiative 76

    - Utilize private partnerships and existing funds to implement anti-ageism and equity campaign ("California for All Ages") with public, employers, and entertainment industry, including equity by age, race, ethnicity, language, citizenship status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, family status, disability, dementia/cognitive status, and income. (Lead Agencies: CHHS, GovOps)
  • Initiative 77

    - Continue new "Ensuring Equity in Aging" peer-to-peer provider training for aging networks. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 78

    - Produce report on CARES funding to Older American Act programs on impact and equity. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 79

    - Set and work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion goals for representation in aging and disability departments and related State boards, such as CDA, DOR, Commission on Aging, and more. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 80

    - Convene a stakeholder Equity in Aging Advisory group. (Lead Agency: CHHS)

Strategy B: Closing the Digital Divide

In August 2020, Governor Gavin Newson signed Executive Order N-73-20 to deploy affordable and reliable broadband throughout the state. Closing the digital divide by increasing access to the internet and digital devices will improve the ability of older adults and people with disabilities to connect to family and friends, health care providers, and to access additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

  • Initiative 81

    - Execute the State Broadband Council's new Strategic Plan, including older adults and using an equity lens, per Executive Order in August 2020, within existing resources. (Lead Agencies: GovOps, CHHS)
  • Initiative 82

    - Seek private donations and use existing funds to distribute personal technology devices to Older Americans Act program participants.(Lead Agencies: GovOps, CHSS)
  • Initiative 83

    - Develop plan to launch digital literacy support for older adults and for providers. (Lead Agencies: GovOps, CHHS)

Strategy C: Opportunities to Work

Scaling flexible work and education models, including virtual options, and preventing age discrimination in the workplace, can increase the inclusion of older adults and people with disabilities and harness all of California’s talent, professionalism, knowledge, and expertise

  • Initiative 84

    - Consistent with the goals of the Future of Work Commission, explore ways to promote flexible work models, especially as people age, experience disability, or after retirement. (Lead Agencies: LWDA, GovOps)
  • Initiative 85

    - Execute State Workforce Plan’s recent inclusion of older adults and CDA’s employment program/Title V with local CWDBs and begin mapping job training and apprenticeship opportunities available to older adults and people with disabilities to match available jobs, through all LWDA and CHHS channels, such as Workforce Boards, CalFresh E&T, OAA Employment, Disabled Worker. (Lead Agency: LWDA, CHHS)
  • Initiative 86

    - Provide assistive technology equipment and devices available to workers with disabilities, to meet need and advance equity, within existing resources. (Lead Agency: LWDA, CHHS)
  • Initiative 87

    - Provide re-entry services to older adults that increase employment and engagement and address inequity, to meet need and advance equity, within existing resources. (Lead Agency: LWDA, CDCR)

Strategy D: Opportunities to Volunteer and Engage Across Generations

Volunteer programs for community priorities can intentionally and effectively recruit, support, and connect adults of all ages through volunteer centers, schools, community sites, libraries, and more. Older Californians have much to contribute to our society and to younger generations of Californians, therefore, developing opportunities for multi-generational exchanges is critical.

  • Initiative 88

    - Engage the diversity of Californians, including older adults and people with disabilities of all races and ethnicities, in #CaliforniansForAll, AmeriCorps, and all CalVols programs. (Lead Agency: CalVols)
  • Initiative 89

    - Scope opportunity for new intergenerational volunteerism partnerships in schools, with philanthropic partners. (Lead Agencies: CHHS, CDE)
  • Initiative 90

    - Promote and adapt "village models" for older adult volunteerism and services, building on the strengths of California’s diverse communities. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 91

    - Launch an elder story project, in partnership with libraries and aging services, and engage the diversity of California elders. (Lead Agencies: CHHS, CSL)
  • Initiative 92

    - Assess older adults' engagement in lifelong learning at Aging services, Adult Schools, and Community Colleges, including online, continually improving cultural competency and languages. (Lead Agencies: CHHS, CDE, Community Colleges)

Strategy E: Protection from Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation

Through new statewide coordinated efforts focused on prevention and equity, California can strengthen prevention and responses to elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, and fraud with person-centered, data-driven, and culturally competent approaches.

  • Initiative 93

    - Create a statewide California Elder Justice Council to increase coordination and develop recommendations to prevent and address elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, and fraud, including consideration of particular COVID-19 risks and of the 28 recommendations from advocates, as well as recommendations from the Elder Justice Coalition. (Lead Agencies: CHHS, BCSH, OAG)
  • Initiative 94

    - Review roles of Licensing, Long Term Care Ombudsmen, and Adult Protective Services and the experiences in other states to prevent and address abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 95

    - Assess Adult Protective Services’ capacity, age of people served, and services provided, especially for complex cases, given growing and changing needs. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 96

    - Assess needs and capacities of local Public Guardians, Public Conservators and Public Administrators, given growing and changing needs.
  • Initiative 97

    - Assess needs and capacities of Legal Services for Older Adults, given growing and changing needs. (Lead Agency: CHHS)

Strategy F: California Leadership in Aging

Strategies to advance California’s leadership include establishing public information, assistance, and resource connection portals and telephone networks that serve the entire state; facilitating a nation-leading aging research collaboration with California’s leading universities; participating in AARP’s Age-Friendly initiative; forging international agreements; and reviewing and strengthening state and local government leadership and partnership structures, including those related to the California Department of Aging and local Areas Agencies on Aging.

  • Initiative 98

    - Build out No Wrong Door/”One Door” statewide for public information and assistance on aging, disability, and dementia, via upgraded web portal, statewide network of local ADRCs with shared training, tools, and technology, and continually improving cultural competency and language access. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 99

    - Create a Governor’s Office Leadership Position on Aging, Disability, and Alzheimer's. (Lead Agency: Governor’s Office)
  • Initiative 100

    - Begin process for California to become an AARP-Certified Age-Friendly State within existing resources. (Lead Agencies: Governor’s Office, CHHS)
  • Initiative 101

    - Revisit California's Area Aging on Agency local leadership structures - including local area map, funding formulas, and designations - via California’s Federal Older Americans Act State Plan 2021-2024, to meet growing and changing needs and continue to advance equity. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 102

    - Facilitate a nation-leading research partnership on aging with California’s universities. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 103

    - Seek opportunities to include aging in development of international partnership agreements between California and other nations engaged in planning and leading around aging. (Lead Agency: Governor’s Office)
  • Initiative 104

    - Launch "Implementing MPA in California Together(IMPACT)" Committee to oversee implementation 2021-2022 and produce MPA annual report, with results and recommended updates, within existing resources. (Lead Agency: CHHS)
  • Initiative 105

    - Consider stakeholder recommendations and opportunities to broaden into Master Plan for Aging and Disability. (Lead Agency: Governor’s Office, CHHS)
  • Initiative 106

    - Continually improve Data Dashboard for Aging, to advance equity – specifically, expand data collection and quality by age, race, ethnicity, language, citizenship status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, family status, disability, dementia/cognitive status, income. (Lead Agency: CHHS)

Equity should be at the center of the Master Plan for Aging’s implementation. Systemic racism, ageism, able-ism, and sexism can only by eliminated through intentional systemic solutions. It’s time to transform our systems so that they may positively impact the lives of those most affected by historical and institutionalized discrimination and who, therefore, have disproportionately suffered during COVID-19.

Kiran Savage-Sangwan, California Pan Ethnic Health Network
Local Models: Los Angeles' Purposeful Aging LA (PALA)
/Content/images/Goals/purposeful aging LA

PALA is a groundbreaking initiative and partnership, between the County and the City of Los Angeles, other cities, AARP, the private sector, and universities. The partnership was formed to help the Los Angeles region prepare for the growing older adult population. PALA’s ultimate goal is to make the Los Angeles region the most age-friendly in the world.