SACRAMENTO — With 36 days left until the election, both candidates for California governor have committed to addressing the looming senior care crisis and creating a California master plan on aging.

Currently, one in five older adults lives in poverty and, in just a decade, the state will see an increase of four million more seniors needing healthcare and support services. The public infrastructure cannot address these needs without significant policy changes.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and businessman John Cox voiced their support and commitment to work on this critical issue should they be elected governor in video messages unveiled at The SCAN Foundation’s “California Summit on Long-Term Services and Supports: Strengthening Voices; Driving Change” conference in Sacramento.

Below are excerpts:

“The work you do is so important. The seniors of this state are the backbone of society. They have contributed to the growth and success of the state of California and they deserve nothing less than our full attention and our best efforts… We need to work together to work on a master plan for aging in the 21st century. We’ve got to make sure that our senior population, as well as all Californians, have the ability to lead an affordable and livable lifestyle.”

 — John Cox, Republican Candidate for Governor

“I want to just express my appreciation to The SCAN Foundation for everything you are doing to raise the bar, the expectation, and awareness around an aging and graying population in the state of California that needs to be celebrated, that needs to be invested in, that needs a plan to address the long-term aging needs of this state… I want to extend to you my commitment – not just my interest – my commitment – to lead that charge.”

   Gavin Newsom, Democratic Candidate for Governor

“Both candidates understand we must more fully and effectively address the serious issues facing California seniors,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health. “We look forward to working with the next governor to turn promises into policies, to spur transformational change for seniors and their families, and to ensure a better future for generations to come.”

“Having bipartisan support on developing a master plan for aging from both California gubernatorial candidates is historic,” said Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “Regardless of who wins in November, we have the commitment of the future governor to implement long-term solutions for aging with independence.”