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Your input is needed for PA’s Master Plan for Older Adults

Alicia Colombo

By Najja R. Orr, MBA, DBA, PCA President & CEO

As the largest Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in Pennsylvania, PCA serves all older adults living in Philadelphia County. To meet increasing needs over the past 50 years, we now provide more than 30 different person-centered programs and services and touch the lives of more than 140,000 older adults and people living with disabilities annually.

We seek to accomplish our mission by taking three main paths:

  • Keeping older adults connected with their communities through senior centers, health and wellness programs, and more.
  • Helping people stay in their homes for as long as possible with needed services, such as care management, equipment/supplies, meals, and in-home care.
  • Advocating for the rights and protection of older adults by providing legal and ombudsman services, and protection from abuse.

For all our successes, PCA faces enormous challenges in continuing to meet the growing and diverse needs of older Philadelphians.

Philadelphia is consistently among America’s largest cities with the highest proportion of older adults (65+) living in poverty at nearly 21%, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, the state’s total older adult population grew from 15.4% in 2010 to 17.8% in 2020. There are increasingly more older adults, yet the availability of public funding has not kept pace with population growth to adequately meet their needs.

In response, PCA will continue to look for innovative and creative ways to serve older people more efficiently, while advocating at the state and federal levels for increased funding to meet the growing need.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has already shown his commitment to supporting the state’s older adults. He has proposed increased funding of $10 million to the PENNCARE budget, which supports PCA and other AAAs, expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program to serve an additional 170,000 people and has signed an executive order officially committing to improving Commonwealth services for the 3.4 million older Pennsylvanians.

The governor’s executive order requires the Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) to develop a comprehensive 10-year Master Plan for Older Adults. To develop this plan, PDA will work with AAAs to gather feedback from older adults and stakeholders in the aging network through in-person listening sessions held within the community.

It is essential that older adults and caregivers attend these sessions to make sure their voices are heard.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s Master Plan for Older Adults and the in-person listening sessions, call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040 or visit

Categories: Advocacy Milestones eNews News about PCA


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