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2020-2022 Strategic Action Plan on Aging (SAPA)

Image is an excerpt from the cover of the Strategic Action Plan on Aging, including the title of the document and four images of active and happy older adults.

The Strategic Action Plan on Aging (SAPA) is a prioritized plan that addresses the many challenges identified in the 2020 Summary Assessment of Older Ohioans.

The goal of the SAPA is that all Ohioans live longer, healthier lives with dignity and autonomy and that disparities and inequities among older Ohioans are eliminated. To achieve this goal, the SAPA provides a comprehensive roadmap that requires public and private collaboration to improve outcomes for older Ohioans.

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What the SAPA does


  • Prioritizes 15 issues across six topic areas (figure ES.1);
  • Tracks progress on 19 outcomes;
  • Highlights opportunities to advance elder justice and equity;
  • Provides a menu of evidence-informed strategies and resources to improve outcomes across SAPA issues; and
  • Outlines recommendations for data reporting and evaluation.

Figure ES.1 - SAPA goals and issues
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Figure ES. 1. SAPA Conceptual Framework

Why is the SAPA important?

Older Ohioans make substantial contributions to society, including working, volunteering, caring for young children or other family members, and serving as community leaders and mentors. Often, these contributions go unrecognized and are uncompensated. Older Ohioans also face obstacles to health and well-being and are not always afforded the opportunity to age with respect, dignity, and autonomy.

Aging is a universal experience that should be celebrated. By 2030, older Ohioans will account for more than a quarter of Ohio’s population (26.3%), up from 19.8% in 2010.1 Supporting healthy aging and valuing all older Ohioans in the face of this changing landscape is critical. Healthy aging means both living longer and extending older Ohioans’ healthy and active years.

1 Data from the U.S. Census Bureau, as compiled by the Miami University, Scripps Gerontology Center. “Interactive Data Center.” Accessed Oct. 20, 2020

The SAPA and COVID-19

Older Ohioans, both inside and outside of congregate settings, face an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness. As of Feb. 8, 2021, 93% percent of COVID-19 deaths were among Ohioans age 60 and older with 52% of total deaths occurring among Ohioans age 80 and older.2 A total of 10,865 Ohioans age 60 and older have died with COVID-19.3

The pandemic has also presented unique challenges for older Ohioans across all prioritized SAPA issues, including increased risk for social isolation, financial instability, and delayed medical care. Many older Ohioans, their families, and communities will continue to struggle with the lingering consequences of the virus and pandemic response.

Efforts to improve the health and well-being of older Ohioans must account for the challenges surfaced and exacerbated by COVID-19. The SAPA outlines key considerations for implementing strategies in the face of these challenges.

2 HPIO analysis of Ohio Department of Health, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard accessed on Nov. 18, 2020 (last update listed Nov. 17, 2020).

3 Ibid.

How will the SAPA be implemented?

Achieving the SAPA goal and vision (figure ES.2) will require collaboration among a wide range of public and private partners at the state and local levels. The menu of strategies in the SAPA provides flexible options that rural, suburban and urban communities can collaborate on to improve outcomes for older Ohioans.

Figure ES.2 - Achieving the SAPA goal and vision

Figure ES. 2. Achieving the SAPA goal and vision

NEW - SAPA Implementation Toolkit

SAPA Implementation ToolkitThe SAPA Implementation Toolkit provides guidance, best practices, tools, and resources that state and local partners can use to implement the SAPA and move Ohio toward a more comprehensive and coordinated system that empowers older Ohioans and advances healthy aging, elder justice, and equity. 

Download the Implementation Toolkit

Implementation Tools


How can you act on the SAPA?

State and local partners in the public and private sectors can act on the SAPA by advancing elder justice and equity and implementing one or more of these action steps:

  1. Align with and focus on one or more of the 15 issues and eight priority populations in the SAPA.
  2. Advocate for funding and policy change to address SAPA issues.
  3. Fund evidence-informed strategies identified in the SAPA.
  4. Implement one or more of the evidence-informed strategies identified in the SAPA.
  5. Partner and collaborate within and across sectors to improve SAPA outcomes.
  6. Evaluate progress on SAPA objectives and the impact of SAPA strategies.

All Ohioans and organizations across public and private sectors have a role to play in advancing elder justice and equity by:

  • Creating an age-integrated society that removes barriers and provides the necessary services and supports for older Ohioans to live long, healthy, and productive lives;
  • Fostering and promoting systems, polices, and beliefs that value aging and dismantle ageism, racism, and other forms of discrimination; and
  • Tailoring strategies and allocating resources to older Ohioans with the greatest need.

How was the SAPA developed?

Facilitated by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio under a contract with the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA), the SAPA builds on and aligns with the following documents:

The SAPA also builds on these documents to advance elder justice and equity:

The SAPA was developed with input from:

  • 71 members of a multi-sector advisory committee and work teams, including subject matter experts from around the state;
  • 19 key informants, including representatives of Ohio’s area agencies on aging and organizations serving older Ohioans most at risk for poor outcomes; and
  • Leadership from ODA and input from the following state agencies: Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Department of Medicaid, and Ohio Department of Transportation.