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New Federal Strategic Framework on Aging Policies and Programs

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published a Strategic Framework for creating a national, multi-sector plan to advance healthy aging and age-friendly communities.

Background

The framework was developed by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities (ICC). Established by the Older Americans Act in 2020, the ICC is led by ACL. Rooted in a commitment to person-centeredness, inclusion, respect, and collaboration, its mission is to foster coordination across the federal government on core aging issues. The ICC received its first federal funding in 2023. With that allocation, ACL convened leaders and experts across 16 federal agencies and departments to craft the Strategic Framework. The resulting document is “intentionally aspirational and high-level.” The ICC notes this is intended to “inspire dialogue…about what it would take to turn its vision, values, and goals into reality.”

The ICC plans to build on the framework to create a national plan on aging—a set of policy proposals to bolster care quality, access, and outcomes for older adults. Those recommendations, in turn, will guide the next White House Conference on Aging, set to take place in 2025.

The Framework

The Strategic Framework is divided into four overarching domains. Each has a broad goal and key focus areas:

  • Age-Friendly Communities
    • Goal: All older adults live in communities that respect and include them and are designed to encourage health, well-being, engagement, and connection.
    • Key Focus Areas: Purpose and engagement, social connection, accessibility and universal design, transportation, economic and financial security, employment, and age-friendly health systems.
  • Coordinated Housing and Supportive Services
    • Goal: All older adults have access to housing and the services they need to maintain their independence at home and thrive in their community.
    • Key Focus Areas: Housing stability through coordinated services, affordable housing, accessible quality housing, and homelessness prevention.
  • Increased Access to Long-Term Services and Supports
    • Goal: All older adults can easily access affordable, high-quality services and supports that promote their independence and goals.
    • Key Focus Areas: Paid and unpaid caregivers, whole-person health financing, elder justice, and a person-centered access system.
  • Aligned Health Care and Supportive Services
    • Goal: All older adults maximize their health and reduce preventable disease and injury through comprehensive care that includes health and social services in the home or in the community.
    • Key Focus Areas: Benefits access; optimize health, well-being, and functioning; and aligning health and human services.
Looking ahead

In the coming months, the ICC will speak with an array of stakeholders about the issues and opportunities touched upon in the Strategic Framework. The first engagement event is a webinar on June 10. Speakers will review the document’s goals and the ICC’s next steps.

Read the document, Aging in the United States: A Strategic Framework for a National Plan on Aging

Learn more about the ICC on Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities at ACL.gov/ICC-Aging.

Register for the ICC June 10 webinar, A Strategic Framework for a National Plan on Aging.

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