Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) today announced the launch of Ohio’s 2023-2026 State Plan on Aging.
The new plan serves as a comprehensive roadmap guiding the state’s aging network on strategies to improve the overall health and well-being of older Ohioans.
Ohio’s new State Plan on Aging implements a collaborative approach that stands out from other aging plans across the country. The plan calls on all Ohioans – including state and local partners in both the public and private sectors – to join forces to help Ohioans live longer, healthier lives with dignity and autonomy, and to eliminate disparities and inequities in aging.
“This plan is a roadmap for working toward our common vision of making Ohio the best place to age in the nation by allowing Ohioans to live longer, healthier lives,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
As Ohio’s federally designated State Unit on Aging, ODA is required to periodically submit a state plan on aging to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL). Approval of the state plan affords Ohio the ability to draw down federal Older Americans Act funding to support critical programs and services administered by ODA and the state’s 12 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), including home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation, home modification, chore services, adult day services, respite, and caregiver supports.
To inform the development of the plan, ODA conducted a multiphase needs assessment process, including an online survey of more than 1,200 older adults, adults with disabilities, and caregivers. The department also hosted a public hearing in March 2022 and three virtual stakeholder meetings to gather input from the public and to identify local priorities outlined by Ohio’s AAAs. The Ohio Advisory Council for Aging, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, and several other aging network stakeholders also supported the development of the plan.
“Creating the plan was a collaborative process and implementing it will be a team effort among ODA and all of our aging network partners to ensure that all Ohioans can age with grace and dignity,” said ODA Director Ursel J. McElroy. “This plan masterfully reframes how we view aging and the healthy aging process. It highlights the link between social determinants of health and longevity, prompting us to rethink our approaches to policymaking, service delivery, and investment priorities.”
Guided by core principles of elder justice and equity, Ohio’s 2023-2026 State Plan on Aging focuses on addressing the following priorities:
- Community Conditions – improving financial stability, access to housing, and access to transportation
- Healthy Living – improving nutrition and physical activity
- Access to Care – improving healthcare coverage and affordability, home and community-based services, workforce capacity, and caregiver supports
- Social Connectedness – improving social inclusion and volunteerism
- Population Health – reducing cognitive difficulty, hypertension, and depression
- Preserving Independence – improving chronic pain management and falls prevention
ACL approved ODA’s plan last month. In their approval letter, ACL commended ODA for continuing to serve “as an effective and visible advocate for older adults and family caregivers at a state level.”
Visit the 2023-2026 State Plan on Aging page on the ODA website to view the full plan.
About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.