San Diego County unveils “Aging Roadmap”
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s Aging & Independence Services presented its Aging Roadmap to the Board of Supervisors last week. The roadmap is meant to serve as a comprehensive regional plan and guide to support the region’s growing aging population.
According to documents from the meeting, in 2015, the number of adults aged 55 and older in San Diego County totaled about 820,000. That number is projected to reach over 1.1 million by 2030. The number of people age 85 years and older is expected to double by 2030.
Get the latest state-specific policy intelligence for the health care sector delivered to your inbox.
The plan includes efforts already underway to support older adults, such as the Alzheimer’s Project, and also points to new areas for growth and innovation in the future.
The new roadmap adds to the focus areas already included in Age Well San Diego, a 2016 initiative between the Board of Supervisors, AARP, and the San Diego Foundation. The Age Well focus areas include health & community support, housing, social participation, transportation, and dementia-friendly.
During the meeting, Aging and Independence Services Director Kim Gallo presented on the roadmap’s 5 new areas of focus:
- Caregiver Support: ensure that caregivers have access to resources and supports to be able to provide care to older adults and support their own personal well-being.
- Safety: expand public awareness of elder abuse, strengthen legal supports to prevent abuse, strengthen support for victims, and increase prevention efforts so that older adults are safe in their homes and community.
- Preparedness: strengthen individual readiness and response capabilities to ensure that older adults are prepared during disasters.
- Silver Economy: increase support for a skilled workforce able to meet the needs of the aging population. The silver economy focus area will also work to promote work and volunteer opportunities for older adults.
- Medical & Social Services: coordinate care among medical and social services with a special focus on the social determinants of health, dental care, and care infrastructure.
One goal of the roadmap related to care infrastructure is to partner with the West Health Institute to ensure that all hospital emergency room departments in the region are Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation certified. The accreditation ensures that care for older adults is appropriate and well-coordinated.
The roadmap also emphasizes the importance of collaboration with community-based organizations, hospital partners, County departments, and others to achieve this goal.
“Using the Aging Roadmap as a guide will help coordinate the delivery of services, plan for a future where the needs of older adults are met, and most importantly celebrate the contributions that older adults make to our community every day,” wrote Chairwoman Dianne Jacob in a document submitted to the Supervisors’ meeting.