establishing the Longevity Ready Maryland Initiative, directing the Maryland Department of Aging to prioritize the well-being of older people, people living with disabilities, and caregivers across all of state government, proactively addressing the needs arising from a growing older adult population.
“Our administration made a commitment to honor the lives and contributions of older Marylanders by expanding access to critical care and services,” said Gov. Moore.
“If we are going to meet the twenty-first century needs of this rapidly changing demographic, we must evaluate our programs, advocate for change, target resources, and formulate data-driven policies with a whole-of-government approach.”
The executive order directs the Department of Aging to develop a plan that will coordinate and build upon existing efforts across state agencies, private and philanthropic sectors, and other stakeholders to tackle real life challenges throughout the lifespan, including access to employment opportunities, a robust care workforce, adequate caregiver support, and equitable health care. Unlike other state plans on aging that focus primarily on caring for the older population, the Longevity Ready Maryland plan will take a whole-of-life approach.
“We envision a future where all Marylanders lead lives that are healthy, financially secure, socially connected, and purposeful from birth throughout retirement, regardless of socioeconomic status,” said Maryland Department of Aging Secretary Carmel Roques.
“Integrating a longevity lens into every government department and agency, promoting coordinated responses, and helping the state shape how public services are planned and delivered will help us prepare, serve, and utilize our changing population.”
Today, more than a third of Maryland's population is over the age of 50, with some 1.4 million people over 60—and like the rest of the country, Maryland’s older adult population will continue to grow over the next several decades. As the population ages, so will disparities in healthcare, education, housing, and other opportunities to experience longer, healthier lives. By 2035, and for the first time in Maryland’s history, there will be nearly 2.1 million adults 60 and over compared to 1.6 million children under the age of 19, according to the Maryland Department of Planning.
Under the leadership of Secretary Roques, the Department of Aging has already begun collaborating with other state agencies, including the Department of Planning, to develop a forward-facing data tool and dashboard to report longevity ready goals, performance indicators, and progress; the Department of Health to redesign the long-term services and supports system; and the Department of Housing and Community Development to examine affordable housing options for older people.
In addition to its goals of optimizing health and wellness, promoting economic opportunities, affording the 100-year lifespan, and ensuring caregivers are recognized and valued, Longevity Ready Maryland will also focus on creating a more age-integrated state, promoting intergenerational relationships, and recognizing the potential of the older population to the social fabric of Maryland.
Over the next 18 months, the Maryland Department of Aging will continue to target stakeholder engagement that will lead to recommendations for Longevity Ready Maryland to be implemented over the next ten years. The final Longevity Ready Plan will be published in mid-2025.
To learn more about Longevity Ready Maryland, go to aging.maryland.gov