Governor Gavin Newsom wants California to be prepared in dealing with another major challenge in the future—providing quality care for the state’s aging population.
During his State of the State address on Tuesday, Newsom called for a New Master Plan on Aging. The governor said, “The Golden State is getting grayer. We need to get ready for the major demographic challenge headed our way.”
The governor noted that California’s senior population will increase by four million over the next ten years. That number will double in 25 years. It will be the first time in the history of the state that older Californians will outnumber young people.
Newsom wants person-centered care for senior citizens
In his remarks, Newsom stressed that “growing old knows no boundaries.” Providing and maintaining a good quality of life for senior citizens is challenging. Therefore, it is critical for the state to have a comprehensive plan to address all the needs of its aging population.
“It’s time for a new Master Plan on Aging. It must address: person-centered care, the patchwork of public services, social isolation, bed-locked seniors in need of transportation, the nursing shortage, and demand for In-Home Supportive Services that far outpaces its capacity,” said the governor.
Newsom’s decision to create a new Master Plan for Aging was driven by his personal experience with his father, who passed away over the holidays.
According to the governor, his father had dementia and “was determined to live out his days with dignity.” He had a pension, family and friends who support him.
“Even with all those advantages, it was a daily challenge to meet his needs so he could live in place and maintain a good quality of life. Millions of Californians share a similar story, and the numbers will only grow,” said Newsom.
Newsom establishes Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force
In addition, the governor launched the Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force. Former California First Lady Maria Shriver will lead the task force. She is the founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, which is focused on raising awareness about women’s increased risk for Alzheimer’s.
The task force will bring together renowned scientists and thinkers to develop first-of-its-kind Alzheimer’s research.