Mass. Senate Releases “Reimagining the Future of Massachusetts” Report with Focus on Digital Equity, Intergenerational Activity and Caregiving

Following a series of listening sessions held during the pandemic, the Senate Committee on Reimagining Massachusetts Post-Pandemic Resiliency released its report with policy and spending recommendations on everything from rental assistance to digital equity.

For those working to advance age- and dementia friendly communities, there are some exciting and notable proposals.

One proposal in the report calls for $50 million to develop new in-person and online resources for intergenerational care that is proximate and accessible, as well as affordable. According to the report, this means providing guidance and information that will “help families and caregivers better understand the full universe of available supports and programs. In the long term it means ensuring that care of loved ones — including children, seniors, and people with disabilities — is affordable and meets the needs of working families where they are.”

Another item recommends $250-$400 million to close the digital divide, including $50-100 million to guarantee low-cost broadband options for all residents who qualify for existing programs (MassHealth, SNAP, etc.); $150-$200 million in grants to towns pursuing infrastructure projects; and a $50-$100 million digital equity fund to support regional initiatives that provide equipment and training.

Other proposals call for strong support of the care economy, which would include wage increases for home care workers, as well as a refundable caregiving tax credit.

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is reviewing the report with its partners, but invites all age- and dementia friendly stakeholders to read the report here.