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Statewide town halls being held to inform Missouri’s Master Plan on Aging

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – There are currently more than 1.1 million Missourians over the age of 60. Estimates suggest that older adults will outnumber minors for the first time by 2030, and older adults will greatly outnumber minors by 2060. The older adult population is also becoming more diverse. These demographic shifts will have a profound impact on the volume and types of services and support that states provide to older adults and people with disabilities, as well as family caregivers.

Aging with Dignity: Missouri’s Master Plan on Aging, was established by Governor Mike Parson through executive order in January 2023. Since that time, an advisory council comprised of legislators, state agency leaders, non-profit organizations and other community partners has been convened to guide the process of creating the plan. Seven subcommittees comprised of subject matter experts from diverse communities of practice and constituents have been meeting regularly to assess the resources and services currently available in the state, find areas of duplication or gaps in service, and determine possible areas for growth.

A series of town hall-style meetings will be held across the state to gather feedback from local individuals who know about challenges in their own communities. These events are free and open to anyone who wants to influence the direction of the state when it comes to aging in Missouri.

In-person meetings are being co-hosted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the ten Area Agencies on Aging from Feb. 26 through March 8. No registration is necessary. For individuals unable to attend a town hall in person, two virtual town halls will also be held on March 21. These meetings require a free registration in order to provide a secure link to join the call.

“Several positive changes have already been made, but more help is needed,” said Mindy Ulstad, chief of the Bureau of Senior Programs with DHSS. “Community participation is vital to the process. The overarching goal of the Master Plan on Aging is that all Missourians, regardless of age or ability, will have access to person-centered programs and services necessary to help them age in their environment of choice in a safe and healthy manner.”

Visit health.mo.gov/aging to learn more about the state plan and opportunities to participate.

 

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Mission of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS): To promote health and safety through prevention, collaboration, education, innovation and response.