California’s Master Plan for Aging

Big Challenges Require Bold Solutions

How we respond to the needs of our rapidly growing population of seniors will shape our future and define us as a state. That’s why the Gary and Mary West Foundation is working with state government, community leaders, aging advocates, nonprofits and healthcare providers to develop and implement California’s first-ever Master Plan for Aging – a bold investment in California’s future and the lives of seniors.

Master Plan for Aging Overview

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom released California’s first Master Plan for Aging to serve as a 10-year blueprint to guide state and local government, communities, private organizations, and philanthropies in building communities that promote healthy aging.

The Master Plan for Aging reimagines aging and outlines solutions that span healthcare, social services, transportation, nutrition, housing, and long-term care. West Health has been involved in the development of the Master Plan since the beginning. Through this historic public-private partnership we were able to work alongside other community leaders and the State of California in providing recommendations that enable successful aging for all Californians.

Explore the Master Plan

A Blueprint for All Ages


California is one of only five states with a cross-sector plan to optimally support an aging society. Learn what’s at stake and why a Master Plan for Aging is needed in every state the country.


5 Bold Goals for an Age-Friendly California


Goal 1

Housing for All Ages and Stages

Create millions of new housing options for communities that are age-, disability-, and dementia-friendly and climate- and disaster-ready.


Goal 2

Health Reimagined

Ensure that all Californians have access to both health care and services that optimize quality of life, with a focus on closing equity gaps and increasing life expectancy.


Goal 3

Inclusion and Equity, Not Isolation

Increase life satisfaction by providing opportunities for work, volunteering, engagement, and leadership that are free from isolation, discrimination, abuse, neglect and exploitation.


Goal 4

Caregiving that Works

Create one million new caregiving jobs to better assist support older Californians and their families throughout the aging process. throughout our lives.


Goal 5

Affording Aging

Close the equity gaps in aging and increase economic security for older adults.

Data Dashboard for Aging

Promoting Transparency and Accountability

West Health was instrumental in aiding the State of California in the development of a sophisticated Data Dashboard for Aging that identifies current gaps in senior supports, parses data by location and demographic indicators, and will track and measure progress of the Master Plan over time.

Explore the data visualization
The Playbook

Resource for
Local Planning

The Master Plan for Aging Playbook is designed to assist state and local government, communities, and private and philanthropic organizations in building environments that promote an age-friendly and disability-friendly California. The Playbook provides seven “plays” for action with relevant resources and models for planning and implementation.

Learn More About the Local Playbook

West Health’s Top 6 Priorities for Healthcare in the Master Plan for Aging

West Health is laser-focused on the healthcare components of the Master Plan for Aging. As we shift to implementing the plan, we are working to establish and expand healthcare policies, practices and models of care that can improve the lives of seniors and their families.

Emergency Care

Learn More

Increasing Availability of Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

Learn More

Oral Healthcare
for Seniors

Learn More

the High Cost
of Healthcare

Learn More

Palliative Care

Learn More

and Measuring

Learn More

Then candidate, Gavin Newsom, signs a pledge committing to developing California’s first Master Plan for Aging at Serving Seniors’ Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center in San Diego, CA.

How it All Began

Recognizing what was at stake for seniors in California, West Health partnered with The SCAN Foundation in 2018 on the grassroots "We Stand With Seniors" public awareness and education campaign, a nonpartisan initiative that led to a pledge from then-candidate Gavin Newsom to develop a Master Plan for Aging in California that would comprehensively address the current and future needs of our state’s senior population.

Governor Newsom made good on his campaign pledge and signed an executive order in June 2019 calling for the development of California’s first Master Plan for Aging. Philanthropies, community leaders, policy makers, advocates and healthcare providers came together for what has become a historic public-private partnership that led to the development of the Master Plan, which was launched in January 2021. The partnership has continues to grow and attract new stakeholders. Foundation partners include the Archstone Foundation, Metta Fund, Rosalind and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, San Diego Foundation, Irvine Health Foundation, and The Smith Charitable Trust. 

During the plan’s development, West Health President and CEO Shelley Lyford served as a member of the Master Plan’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee, a diverse group of state leaders responsible for guiding the development of policy and program recommendations for the Master Plan for Aging. Lyford was also appointed to the California Commission on Aging.

West Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Zia Agha, MD is on the Master Plan for Aging Research Subcommittee and Gary and Mary West Foundation Program Officer Brenda Schmitthenner coordinates our involvement with the Master Plan for Aging and serves as liaison to the state and other partners. 


Shelley Lyford

President and CEO, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Zia Agha, MD

Chief Medical Officer, West Health

Member of the Master Plan for Aging Research Subcommittee

Brenda Schmitthenner, MPA

Program Officer, Successful Aging, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Liaison for the California Master Plan for Aging

Our goal is to make California’s Master Plan for Aging a model for the nation.

Learn More About The Foundation

Together we can provide a bright future for our seniors in California

More than 5.1 million seniors live in California, a number expected to grow to 8.6 million by 2030.



Seniors living in California



Fastest growing population group


In less than two decades, older adults are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. By 2035, people age 65 and over are expected to number 77 million, while children under age 18 will number 76.5 million.


Starting in 2030, when all boomers will be older than 65, older adults will make up 21 percent of the population, up from 15 percent today.

Seniors face significant challenges in accessing high-quality and affordable healthcare, dental care, supportive services, housing and transportation. A rising and diverse population will put even more strain on the state’s fragile system of care, which is largely fragmented, poorly coordinated and not designed or sufficiently resourced to meet the specific needs of older adults.

"California’s Master Plan for Aging can be a shining example of how senior-specific healthcare combined with smart policy can improve lives of older adults and support families and communities."

Shelley Lyford

President and CEO, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Californians are encouraged to share their own vision and insights. Recommendations and comments can be submitted either online through or through public forums and events.

Explore The Master Plan