Tuesday, May 27, 2008

PA Aging Dept Posts Draft Plan

On May 19, 2008, the PA Department of Aging announced availability of a DRAFT of the PA State Plan on Aging for 2008-20012 (PDF, 124 pages).

The announcement noted the scheduling of three additional public hearings on the draft Plan, and the acceptance of written comments through June 17, 2008.

Every four years the Department of Aging is required by both state and federal law to develop and submit to the Administration on Aging a "State Plan on Aging."

The plan is mandated by both federal and state law and is a requirement in order for the commonwealth to receive federal funds under the Older Americans Act. Additionally, the State Plan on Aging helps to structure the department’s priorities and to set an aging agenda for the commonwealth.

The department conducted Town Hall Meetings at eight locations across the commonwealth between January and March. Attendance was excellent with over 2500 participants across all locations.

All comments received were incorporated into a draft State Plan. * * *

The draft Plan focuses on four overall goals, with objectives & strategies under each:

  • Goal 1 - Solid Decisions, Solid Planning: Empower older Pennsylvanians and their families, including those from diverse communities, to make informed decisions on their health care and long-term living options.
  • Goal 2 - My Home, My Independence: Enable older Pennsylvanians, including those from diverse communities, to remain in the setting of their choice to improve their quality of life and to actively participate in the services they receive.
  • Goal 3 - Active Aging: Empower older Pennsylvanians, including those from diverse communities, to stay active and healthy.
  • Goal 4 - Prevention & Protection: Ensure older Pennsylvanians, including those from diverse communities, are free from abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.
These are the same goals that were the subject of public input at the hearings previously held. See: PA EE&F Law Blog postings: Colliton Reflects on PA Aging "Town Meeting" (03/24/08); PA Aging Plan "Discussion Guide" Now Available (01/25/08); & Town Meetings for PA's "Plan on Aging" (12/28/07).

Further input on the proposed plan or the specifics in the draft Plan document can occur through two methods now:
  • Written Comments:
    • The department will accept written comment on the draft plan. Anyone wishing to submit written comments may do so by June 17 and should address them to Rocco Claroni, Department of Aging, Systems Planning and Consultation Division, 555 Walnut Street, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101-1919.
  • Oral Comments:
    • The department has additionally scheduled three public hearings. People interested in participating must call to schedule a time to give oral testimony at the hearings. Testimony is limited to ten (10) minutes per person. If you wish to provide oral testimony or if you have a disability and require an accommodation to attend one of the public hearings, please contact Nicki Hooper (717) 772-0473 no later than May 29.
    • Public Hearing Locations




      June 3, 2008

      Community College of Allegheny County

      South Campus

      Auditorium in Building B

      1750 Clairton Road

      West Mifflin, PA 15122

      1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

      June 4, 2008

      The Oaks

      Community Room

      200 Rachel Drive

      Pleasant Gap, PA 16823

      10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

      June 6, 2008

      New Courtland Germantown Home

      Education Building, Auditorium

      6950 Germantown Avenue

      Philadelphia, PA 19119

      1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Since the entities most affected by the Plan will be the area agencies on aging around the Commonwealth, the Department provided significant data regarding each county on its web page entitled "2008-2012 State Plan on Aging Planning Data for Area Agencies on Aging". However, the Department noted that "this information may be of interest to other stakeholders as well."
The data provided for each county were extracted from several sources by the Penn StateData Center.

The demographic and housing data come from the 2000 Census and the 2006 American Community Survey. The Census includes information on everyone.

The American Community Survey (ACS), which is intended to provide a picture of communities between the decennial censuses, is based on a small sample of households. Since it is based on a small sample, counties with small populations are not included. Of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, 39 are included in the 2006 ACS.

In addition to the demographic and housing characteristics, the Penn State Data Center extracted data on facilities in each county from the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW).
Separate from the Aging Plan process, many organizations may find this data useful in addressing, on their own, the needs of Pennsylvania's senior citizens, who represent a booming market segment.