WHEREAS, the State of Missouri is committed to ensuring that all citizens can age with dignity, safety, and independence;
WHEREAS, the State of Missouri intends to support all citizens as they age to ensure older adults and individuals with disabilities live as safely and independently as possible in the environment of their choice while fully participating in their community;
WHEREAS, there are more than 1.1 million Missouri citizens over age 60;
WHEREAS, the older adult population represents an increasingly diverse and rapidly growing group due to increased longevity;
WHEREAS, estimates suggest that older adults will outnumber minors for the first time by 2030, and older adults will greatly outnumber minors by 2060;
WHEREAS, older adults and individuals with disabilities live in poverty at significantly higher rates than the younger population and those without disabilities;
WHEREAS, expanding programs to assist individuals in aging with dignity across the State of Missouri reduces the need for Medicaid and other social programs by providing support to individuals in their homes rather than in long-term care or nursing facilities;
WHEREAS, the State of Missouri is committed to addressing age and disability discrimination, eliminating barriers to safe and healthy aging, and allowing all Missourians to age with dignity;
WHEREAS, an aging population presents unique challenges to the workforce;
WHEREAS, my administration has always prioritized job creation, strong wages, and competitive markets for all Missourians; and
WHEREAS, Missouri needs to prepare for a restructured workforce that can include and serve older adults across the state.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL L. PARSON, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Missouri, do hereby order the commencement of the Missourians Aging with Dignity Initiative and direct:
- Executive agencies shall make their best efforts to ensure that all Missourians have access to services and supports they are eligible for in order to age safely and independently.
- Each state agency shall use best efforts to ensure programming includes older Missourians and adults with disabilities when possible with the ultimate goal of ensuring older Missourians and adults with disabilities have a safe and healthy environment and avoid unnecessary institutionalization.
- The Department of Health and Senior Services shall, with the assistance of the Advisory Council described below, develop a Master Plan on Aging that addresses the needs and health outcomes for older adults and individuals with disabilities. The Department’s actions shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Reviewing and assessing the current state of aging services in Missouri;
- Coordinating and completing at least ten listening sessions with key stakeholders in the Area Agency on Aging regions with at least two listening sessions available statewide;
- Completing a statewide senior citizen and adults with disabilities needs assessment;
- Establishing priorities for each state agency and communicating those priorities to key stakeholders; and
- Developing the Master Plan on Aging.
- The Department of Health and Senior Services shall finalize the Master Plan on Aging by December 31, 2025.
- The Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services shall designate stakeholders to be a part of the Advisory Council for the Master Plan on Aging. These stakeholders shall be diverse in nature, and represent a cross-section of interests including groups concerned with aging in place, supporting those with disabilities, local governments, healthcare providers, and health research institutions and associations. Stakeholders may help lead subgroups representing the needs identified in the statewide needs assessment.
- The director or commissioner of each state agency shall designate, within 30 days of the request of the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, an employee or employees who will participate on the Advisory Council and provide data, information, and support for developing and implementing the Master Plan on Aging.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 19th day of January, 2023.
[Michael L. Parson's signature]
MICHAEL L. PARSON
[Jay Ashcroft's signature]
JOHN R. ASHCROFT
SECRETARY OF STATE