County Unveils Aging Roadmap with Eye to the Future
Sep 24, 2019 12:00PM
● By Paul Spear
By 2025, there will be more than 1 million San Diegans over the age of 55, so the County has unveiled a regional plan to handle that increasing population and ensure older adults can age safely in our communities.
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s Aging & Independence Services presented the Aging Roadmap to the Board of Supervisors at its meeting Tuesday.
“This roadmap takes all the current partnerships between government and community partners and presents a vision for the future where we can build on existing programs to attain the Live Well San Diego vision of a region that is healthy, safe and thriving for everyone including older adults,” said Kimberly Gallo, Aging & Independence Services director.
“San Diego County is a region with a high cost of living, and finding ways to ensure older adults are able to maintain a good standard of living will be essential.”
The plan highlights the work currently being done on behalf of older adults and looks at several new areas of opportunity in the years ahead.
“This is an effort to bring everything together not just in the County government, but the other partners we have out in the community,” said Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “We need to do all we can to help seniors stay in their homes as long as possible.”
The roadmap adds five focus areas to work on including:
- Caregiver support – making sure caregivers have access to the support and resources necessary to provide responsive and manageable care to older adults while tending to their own well-being and elevating the business community’s support of employees who are family caregivers
- Safety – expanding prevention and public awareness of elder abuse, strengthening legal supports to prevent abuse and strengthening the support system for victims
- Preparedness and response – working with the Office of Emergency Services to provide first responder training to better meet the needs of older adults during emergencies and link older adults with neighbors that can check on and assist them during times of need
- Silver economy – promote work and volunteer opportunities for older adults and encourage local businesses to attract, retain and protect older works who want or need to stay in the workforce
- Medical and social services system – focus on the social determinants of health, improve screening for risks such as food insecurity and social isolation and promote dental care as it impacts overall health
They join the existing five focus areas of Age Well that include health and community support, housing, social participation, transportation and dementia-friendly.
“Together these ten areas encompass a complete vision for the San Diego region, from the personal, in-home experience of caregivers, to the community-wide infrastructure of housing and transportation,” said Gallo.
The County will also work with hospital emergency departments in our region to get them Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation, awarded to ensure older patients receive well-coordinated and appropriate care.
The roadmap includes the County’s Age Well initiative to become an age-friendly and dementia-friendly community, which launched in 2016.