New MPA Initiatives Tracker Also Launched, Enabling On-Demand Access to Progress Updates
SACRAMENTO — California’s Master Plan for Aging (MPA), a 10-year blueprint to prepare the state for the coming demographic changes and continue California’s national leadership in aging, disability, and equity, released its Annual Report. The Annual Report reviews investments and progress made in 2022 toward the 132 initiatives that were the focus of the first two years of MPA implementation, and outlines the 95 new initiatives that will drive activities for the next two years. Today, California also launched the MPA Initiatives Tracker, an interactive website that provides on-demand public access to initiative progress updates.
“Over the past two years, there have been historic investments, collaborative public-private partnerships, and ongoing efforts from a variety of stakeholders to make the Master Plan for Aging come to life, while doing the hard work that’s required to achieve California’s five bold goals by 2030,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary. “I’m impressed by the progress made last year and by the strength of commitment shown by stakeholders, philanthropy partners, the Legislature, and the entire administration. This truly is a whole-of-society movement. I’m confident we’re on the path to creating a better future for Californians of all ages and all abilities.”
The MPA was launched by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021 to address an upcoming demographic shift: by 2030, one in four Californians will be aged 60 or older. The MPA outlines five bold goals to build a California for all ages and abilities by 2030: 1) Housing for All Ages & Stages; 2) Health Reimagined; 3) Equity & Inclusion, Not Isolation; 4) Caregiving That Works; and 5) Affording Aging. The first two years of MPA activities focused on 132 initiatives that included preventing homelessness for older adults and veterans, expanding health care affordability and access, protecting older adults and people with disabilities from abuse and neglect, supporting family caregivers, reducing food insecurity, and more.
Key 2022 Annual Report Updates
Progress was made on all 132 initiatives that were part of the first two years of MPA implementation. The Legislature invested billions of dollars to advance the MPA’s five bold goals. Some of the 2022 achievements include:
Community Care Expansion: As of October 2022, CDSS awarded more than $100 million to 17 organizations to fund 19 projects to create more residential care options for older adults and people with disabilities, including people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. More than 660 beds or units will be created with these funds.
Medi-Cal Coverage for People 50+ Regardless of Immigration Status: The Medi-Cal program now covers individuals over age 50 regardless of immigration status. The 2021-2022 state budget invested $1 billion (ongoing) to expand access to full-scope Medi-Cal benefits for adults aged 50 and over, which has already provided 235,000 additional Californians with access to health care.
Closing the Digital Divide: The $17 million Home and Community-Based Services Digital Connections Program builds off the Connections, Health, Aging, and Technology (CHAT) program that distributed 4,000 iPads, including digital literacy training, to isolated older adults in 2021. The Digital Connections Program expands CHAT’s reach to include participants in the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) and Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program, as well as PACE program recipients. This augments billions of dollars invested in statewide broadband access.
Dementia Care Aware: The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) launched the nation’s first Dementia Care Aware (DCA) program. Through this $23 million investment, DHCS, in partnership with UC San Francisco, is leading a statewide program for primary care providers, including trainings, tools, and resources needed to administer cognitive health assessments in a culturally responsive manner and determine the appropriate next steps for patients.
CalGrows: The California Department of Aging has launched a $150 million statewide Direct Care Workforce Training and Stipends Program – CalGrows – including an Innovation Fund that seeks to train, incentivize, and support the direct care Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) workforce (non-IHSS), including unpaid family and friend caregivers. CalGrows aims to improve direct care worker skills, job satisfaction, and employment retention, and present opportunities to progress on career, training, and educational ladders.
Nutrition Support and Infrastructure: Investments in home-delivered and congregate meals have increased by $52.5 million (ongoing) to support the nutrition needs of older adults. The state also invested $40 million to fund capacity and infrastructure improvement grants for senior nutrition programs. These funds relate to MPA Initiatives and don’t reflect the full funding to support nutrition services and CalFresh in California.
New Funding for Local Leadership: Over the next two years, the California Department of Aging will award $4.5 million in grants to up to 36 local communities across the state to help launch their own aging- and disability-friendly action plans.
The 95 priority initiatives for 2023-24 build upon the work of the MPA’s first two years. Each initiative will have one or more areas of focus — Deliver, Analyze, Communicate — that add another level of accountability beyond the Annual Report, Initiative Tracker, and other reporting. Some of the 2023-24 initiative themes include:
• Addressing housing needs by promoting access to models that integrate housing with services, as well as streamlining funding for new housing options
• Improving accessible transportation options
• Expanding health care and services options to make it easier to age in place, at home
• Encouraging healthy aging and expanding access to geriatric care across the state
• Expanding support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
• Driving innovation in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities
• Bridging the digital divide for older adults and people with disabilities
• Improving the supports available to unpaid family and friend caregivers, as well as offering training and career paths for paid caregivers to reduce turnover
• Ending older adult homelessness and improving income and food security
“The Master Plan for Aging is guiding actions that are making a difference in the lives of Californians today, not planning for action that starts in 10 years,” said California Department of Aging Director Susan DeMarois. “The Master Plan is delivering greater access to health care, more options for housing and home and community-based care, expanded access to technology to reduce isolation, and more support for caregivers, a critical but often unseen workforce. Our priority initiatives for the next two years will help California make additional progress toward the Master Plan for Aging’s goals and reinforce California’s commitment to equity for all.”
Access the complete Master Plan for Aging Annual Report and 2023-24 Initiatives at https://mpa.aging.ca.gov/UpdatesAndProgressReports/. The MPA Implementation Tracker is at https://www.mpaprogress.org/.