Executive Order RP42 - Relating to the Creation of the Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee and Plan.
WHEREAS, the State of Texas values older Texans and is committed to ensuring that all Texans age well with dignity, independence and opportunities to contribute to society; and
WHEREAS, Texas has 3.1 million people over the age of sixty, the fourth largest such population in the nation; and
WHEREAS, the elderly population represents an increasingly diverse and rapidly growing group as a result of increased longevity and the aging of the baby boom generation; and
WHEREAS, the Aging Texas Well initiative was first created in 1997 to encourage Texans to prepare individually for aging in all aspects of life and to ensure that state and local social services infrastructure facilitates aging well throughout the life span; and
WHEREAS, the changing demographics of the state will create the need for comprehensive policy changes in response to: growing numbers of informal caregivers for older Texans, rapidly increasing costs associated with caring for those with chronic disease and disability, the need for providers with geriatric training, the aging of persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities and their caregivers, and increasing numbers of older Texans with transportation and mobility needs; and
WHEREAS, recent federal initiatives such as the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and the Medicare Modernization Act will also impact the state's ability to appropriately serve this population; and
WHEREAS, these demographic trends will create new and different demands on state services across all functions of state government, and will introduce new opportunities for economic and community growth while driving health and long-term care costs inexorably higher unless Texans emphasize healthy lifestyles that include physical activity and good nutrition; and
WHEREAS, local communities have a critical role in preparing for the future demographic changes by building capacity to support an aging population; and
WHEREAS, the White House Conference on Aging, scheduled for October 2005, provides an opportunity for states to further review and amend aging policies in their state;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas as the Chief Executive Officer, do hereby order the following:
* Advisory Committee. The current Department of Aging and Disability Services Aging Resource Group shall be reconstituted as the Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee to advise the Department and to make recommendations to state leadership on implementation of the Aging Texas Well initiative.
* Aging Texas Well Plan. With the advice of the Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee, the Department of Aging and Disability Services shall create and disseminate a comprehensive and effective working plan to identify and discuss aging policy issues, guide state government readiness and promote increased community preparedness for an aging Texas. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services shall biannually update the plan and shall evaluate and report on its implementation.
* Review of State Policy. With the advice of the Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services shall review and/or comment on state policies, concentrating on current critical trends including but not limited to:
1. Improving services and supports for informal caregivers;
2. Promoting ways to increase evidence-based disability and disease prevention activities;
3. Increasing the recruitment and retention of health care providers trained in geriatrics;
4. Improving the provision of services and supports to persons with developmental disabilities and mental retardation who are aging;
5. Reviewing options to expand the mobility of older adults through affordable, accessible and integrated transportation services;
6. Improving the provision of behavioral health services and supports to older persons; and
7. Reviewing federal changes in health care policy, particularly the impact of the Medicare D prescription drug benefit, on the ability of older Texans to access medications.
* State Agency Readiness. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services shall lead a planning effort to ensure the readiness of all Texas state agencies to serve an aging population by identifying issues and current initiatives, future needs, action steps, and methods of performance evaluation. The effort shall advance an intergenerational approach to policies, programs, and services to address the needs of Texans across the lifespan.
* Texercise. The Department of Aging and Disability Services, Department of State Health Services, Governor's Advisory Council on Physical Fitness, and other appropriate state and community organizations shall continue to promote and expand the internationally-recognized Texercise program as a means to ensure healthy lifestyles in older Texans.
* Local Community Preparedness. The Department of Aging and Disability Services shall work with public and private community partners, including state and local governments, to build capacity to serve a growing aging population through partnership development and action planning using formal community assessment processes.
* Report of Compliance. The Aging Texas Well Plan shall serve as a report on implementation of this order.
* Full Cooperation. All affected agencies and other public entities shall cooperate fully with the Department of Aging and Disability Services in the implementation of this order.
This executive order supersedes all previous orders in conflict or inconsistent with its terms and shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding Governor.
Given under my hand this the 1st day of April, 2005.
Secretary of State