Governor Mills Establishes Cabinet on Aging

On June 13th, Governor Janet Mills signed an Executive Order establishing a Cabinet on Aging. The creation of the Cabinet comes at a time when Maine's median age makes it the oldest state in the nation, with tens of thousands of people expected to retire in the coming years, removing them from the state's workforce and increasing demand for aging-related services.
Mills said the cabinet's creation "comes ahead of the expected demand for aging-related services as ‘tens of thousands' of people retire in the coming years and will help state residents age ‘safely, [and] affordably.'"

As reported in McKnight's Senior Living article, Maine Health Care Association President and CEO Angela Cole Westhoff said "she welcomes the creation of the cabinet and hopes it will include outreach to, and feedback from, long-term care providers," adding that the industry needs "bold policy solutions and ongoing resources to ensure older adults have the caregivers needed to provide access to long-term care for the future."

The Cabinet consists of Commissioners from the Department of Health and Human Services, Labor, Economic and Community Development, Administrative and Financial Services, Professional and Financial Regulation, Public Safety, and Transportation, as well as the Director of the Maine State Housing Authority. The Commissioners of Health and Human Services and Labor will co-chair the Cabinet.

Mills announced the formation of the cabinet at the Sam L. Cohen Households at The Cedars in Portland, a senior living and care community offering a whole continuum of services, including one of two household models in Maine's Age-Friendly State Plan.

Cabinet members will meet in July and then quarterly to coordinate and advance work on affordable housing and long-term services and supports; financial security and fraud protections; access to information, broadband and services; and engagement and employment.

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