On February 28, 2024

Age Strong Vermont releases 10-year plan

Roadmap was shaped by public input, focused on state resiliency

Vermont health officials announced the release of the Age Strong VT 10-Year Action Plan, a comprehensive roadmap designed to address the evolving needs of . The strategic plan, titled “Age Strong VT: A Vision for the Future,” is the result of extensive public input.

The day the report was released, Feb. 22, was also designated as Age Strong Vermont Day by the General Assembly.

Vermont’s older population is the state’s fastest growing age group. By 2030, one in three Vermonters will be over the age of 60. As the state grapples with changing demographics, the Age Strong VT 10-Year Action Plan emerges as a vital tool, fostering optimism and providing a platform to prepare and build on the state’s resiliency and strengths.

“From imagining the best of livable communities, to incorporating public health equity in all policies, this plan will be a valuable resource for communities, businesses, non-profits and state policy makers,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine.

Public comments revealed a diverse range of perspectives. While some individuals expressed concerns about the economy and the affordability of living as they age — issues actively being addressed by the governor and state legislature — many others applauded the plan for its positive vision and strategic roadmap.

Noteworthy comments highlighted the plan’s emphasis on leveraging the state’s strengths, such as community connectedness, flexible transportation pilots, and inclusive arts and recreation programs catering to individuals of all ages.

The Age Strong VT Plan aligns with and supports key priorities to benefit everyone in Vermont, including:

  1. Age-friendly housing: a future of affordable housing, convenient zoning, and infrastructure that supports aging in place, socialization, local business, and community health.
  2. Continuing education: increasing access to adult learning opportunities for all generations, fostering mental and social engagement, and cognitive well-being beyond retirement.
  3. Age-friendly health systems: Recognizing the importance of patient-centered care for older adults, Vermont hospitals, notably Grace Cottage Hospital, prioritize prevention and treatment of dementia.

“Age Strong VT includes strategies that will support Vermonters at all ages and stages of life, including inclusive transportation, accessible housing, opportunities for healthy choices, social connection, and more,” said Megan Tierney-Ward, interim commissioner of the Dept. of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living. “By proactively building more age-friendly programs, services and communities we will build a resilient Vermont for everyone.”

Looking ahead, the Age Strong VT steering committee is set to meet with state leadership this spring to discuss avenues for successful plan implementation and monitoring. Simultaneously, the committee will monitor ongoing plan activities and create an Age Strong Vermont dashboard to share progress with the public.

Age Strong VT invites people to join in the ongoing conversation as the plan unfolds to ensure a vibrant future for all.

For more information or to read the full action plan, visit: HealthVermont.gov/AgeStrongVT.

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