Aging is changing, and in response to this, the California Department of Aging has created a platform to create age-friendly communities statewide. During a recent webinar presented by the Department of Aging, we learned that 25 percent of Californians are now 60 years or older, and 68 percent believe they will lose independence as they age; most do not want to be alone during their latter years.
The goals of this plan are:
Goal One: Housing for All Stages and Ages. We will live where we choose as we age in communities that are age-, disability-, and dementia-friendly and climate- and disaster-ready. Target: Millions of new housing options to age well.
Goal Two: Health Reimagined. We will have access to the services we need to live at home in our communities and to optimize our health and quality of life. Target: Close the equity gap and increase life expectancy.
Goal Three: Inclusion and Equity, Not Isolation. We will have lifelong opportunities for work, volunteering, engagement and leadership and will be protected from isolation, discrimination, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Target: Keep increasing life satisfaction as we age.
Goal Four: Caregiving that Works. We will be prepared for and supported through the rewards and challenges of caring for aging loved ones. Target: Keep increasing life satisfaction as we age.
Goal Five: Affording Aging. We will have economic security for as long as we live. Target: Close the equity gap and increase elder sufficiency.
“One Door” is the Department of Aging’s theme for independent living. This vision features a hub with spokes for care coordination within a “person-centered” approach. The statewide Aging Hubs Initiative under the “One Door” model will include a range of home and community services, emphasizing quality, partnerships and technology in which systems would talk with one another.
The timeframe is for California to be a state for all ages by 2030. To implement this plan, the department established the following timeline:
- Engage the community with the release of the master plan
- Begin a public survey (July 2021)
- Hold town hall meetings across the state, beginning August 2021
- Establish best practices for the implementation in September and October 2021
- Hold a stakeholder forum in December 2021
Patricia Kaplan is a co-founding board member and consultant with Alzheimers Coachella Valley and can be reached at (760) 776.3100. For more information, visit the California Department of Aging website at www.aging.ca.gov, or if you would like to be involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.