This week marks an important step forward for age friendly communities in the San Diego region.
On May 10, the City of Chula Vista voted unanimously to enter in the World Health Organization (WHO) and AARP Age Friendly Communities Network. The news comes on the heels of the County Board of Supervisors vote in March to enter San Diego County into the same network.
The WHO and AARP Network helps participating communities become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.
In San Diego, the number of people 65 and over is expected to double by 2030. Local officials and leaders agree that we need to think differently about this new generation of older adults, and find more ways to ensure that these San Diegans can age in place and stay connected to their communities.
[Tweet “In #SanDiego, the number of people 65 and over is expected to double by 2030.”]
By deciding to enter into the WHO & AARP Network, our public officials have cemented their commitment to this movement and doubled down on the efforts of many nonprofits organizations and community groups.
For evidence of what other organizations are doing, just look at the initiatives supported by The San Diego Foundation Age Friendly Communities grantmaking.
In total, $276,000 will support seven organizations that help create communities where older adults can age in place, live affordably, and are fully included and engaged in all aspects of daily life.
The Children’s Initiative, one of the grantees supported, will expand its cutting-edge literacy program, Experience Corps. The program pairs older adults in respective communities with students in third grade to help improve reading skills, all the while enriching the lives of the volunteer adults.
Other grantees, such as Interfaith Community Services, will provide social and educational activities for older adults. Transportation is often a significant barrier for seniors, but by bringing nutritious meals and health services directly to local communities, Interfaith Community Services gives residents an opportunity to maintain a strong quality of life within their own neighborhoods.
Support Age Friendly Communities
As indicated by the recent grantmaking, and as a Live Well San Diego partner, The San Diego Foundation is committed to supporting local efforts to understand the challenges of our aging population boom and identify solutions for our region’s future.
We’re encouraged by the collective action of San Diego’s nonprofit community, community leaders and local donors. Together, we can make our region a role model for age friendly communities worldwide.
Let us know in the comments below!