By 2025, one in five people living in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region will be age 65 or older. How will essential services such as health care, housing, transportation and caregiver support meet the needs of this population?
Preparing for this demographic shift is critical. That is why Common Ground Health is convening the Sage II Commission, which is identifying collaborative solutions for improving and coordinating essential older-adult services.
To ground its research, outreach and initiatives in the lived experience of older adults, Common Ground Health convenes the Senior Adult Community Engagement (SACE) Project.
And Common Ground Health is among the local partners who are helping to inform New York State’s development of a Master Plan for Aging.
Learn more about these three initiatives and how they will help older adults in our region lead full and independent lives for as long as possible, regardless of income, race/ethnicity or where they live.
Sage II Commission
Launched in 2020, Sage II is updating the long-range plan for aging health services in the Finger Lakes region put forth in 2011 by the original Sage Commission. The 2011 plan aimed to create a person-centered health system that accommodated the 65 and older population’s preference to live in the least-restrictive settings, delay institutional care and allow older adults to remain in the community for as long as possible.
To address the ongoing issues affecting long-term health care, the Sage II Commission reviewed projections from 10 years ago to gauge where the region is today and what steps should be taken to improve the system.
The Commission is updating the 2011 recommendations. They are prioritizing needs that require collective action and addressing short term issues through strategic partnerships. They are also establishing the groundwork for future opportunities.
The Senior Adult Community Engagement Project is a group of senior adults of color from diverse educational, health and socioeconomic backgrounds. Many participated in a health research project conducted by the University of Rochester, Common Ground Health and other community partners to educate senior adults of color in the basics of health research. It provided them the skills to collect, evaluate, and utilize data; participate in clinical and community-based research; and become managers of their own health and healthcare.
The SACE Project elevates the senior adult voice, particularly those of Black and Brown seniors, to a place of value and inclusion in every area of community engagement that affects seniors, their families and their caregivers/providers.
SACE members have contributed to efforts including COVID education, SAGE II Commission efforts, senior mental health, general health literacy, food access, combatting social isolation and pushing for safe, adaptable and affordable housing for seniors.
Master Plan for Aging
In launching a committee to create New York state’s first-ever master plan on aging, Governor Kathy Hochul recognized the need to ensure older New Yorkers can live healthy, fulfilling lives while aging with dignity and independence.
The Governor selected Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood to serve on a committee to advise on the state’s master plan on aging. Norwood was appointed to the 28-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee for New York State's Master Plan For Aging Council, which is creating the master plan.
Three other local representatives join Norwood on the committee: Thomas Caprio, M.D., director of the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center; Lifespan President and CEO Ann Marie Cook; and Linda James, a former kinship caregiver.
The advisory committee is tasked with providing expertise on age-friendly policies, supports and health services to guide the Master Plan for Aging Council as it develops a comprehensive plan for meeting the socioeconomic needs of all generations of New Yorkers as they age. It will work in collaboration with the state Department of Health and the state Office for the Aging.
Access a wealth of data about aging trends in the Finger Lakes from our Insights Library.
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