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Diamonds, Rubies & Gold: Celebrating Age Friendly Communities Initiatives

2015 marks an important milestone for many agencies that were created to protect, enhance and improve the quality of life for our aging community.

At The San Diego Foundation, we are proud to celebrate our 40th Anniversary (Ruby) dedicating our efforts to serving the community through effective and responsible philanthropy and through our Age Friendly Communities initiative.

Age Friendly Communities Initiative: A National Movement

To date, The Foundation has provided more than $1 million dollars in grants to bring awareness and increase capacity to programs, services and partnerships to create a community for all ages to thrive.

Through our Age Friendly Communities initiative, our region is joining a national movement.

On July 13, The Foundation joined one of 600 viewing parties held across the country and participated in the White House Conference on Aging. Topics ranged from caregiver resources to protection against elder abuse, technology and the future of aging.

We also engaged in the “Getting Older is Getting Better because…” social campaign to raise awareness for key initiative issues:

Diamonds, Rubies and Gold: Celebrating Age Friendly Communities Initiatives

Legislative Milestones

The Older Americans Act and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are celebrating their 50th Anniversary (Gold) while the Social Security Administration is celebrating its 80th Anniversary (Diamonds) all serving millions of families in our nation. Although resources have ebbed and flowed throughout the years, the purpose and need of these programs has not faltered.

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, between 2003 and 2013 the population age 60 and over increased 30.7% from 48.1 million to 62.8 million. Grants, resources or support to our healthy aging, planning, social services and research are more critical today than ever.

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This continues to show how important the Age Friendly Communities initiative is to help share these opportunities, as well as convene around ways to improve existing and/or future programs.

Local Resources to Engage

Currently there are several spaces where San Diegans can join the conversation.

The City of San Diego Senior Affairs Advisory Board (SAAB) is seeking San Diegans over the age of 55 to complete a survey to learn more about San Diego’s aging community.

Later this year, the County of San Diego Department of Aging and Independent Services will also be conducting a survey to see what issues are of concern regionally.

Through ongoing support from the Board of Supervisors, the county has continued the “Cool Zones” Program with its local libraries, recreation and senior centers to address areas where a senior or young family may not have access to air conditioning. This year marks the Cool Zone Program’s 14th year with participation in over 115 communities in the county.

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