12,000 people turn sixty every day. Adults aged 60 and older are growing faster than any other age group. And yet, funding and support systems remain flat.
The Older Americans Act, which creates the infrastructure for funding local programs, needs more money. At the state level, the Master Plan for Aging, which creates a roadmap for the next 20 years, requires funding and champions for each initiative.
Locally, the Napa/Solano Area Agency on Aging Four-Year Area Plan focuses on three key areas.
16% of seniors face the threat of hunger. Older adults who lack consistent nutrition are at greater risk of poor health and screen at higher rates for depression.
We need to feed more people and provide more choices.
Social isolation and depression are as detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Knowing what services are available, how to access programs, and creating meaningful relationships are critical to allowing people to age in place and live healthy, active lives.
Visiting, outreach, and finding different ways to engage are critical to the health of older adults.
The average person outlives their driving age by 8-10 years. The inability to travel to medical appointments, visit friends, or participate in social engagements is a health risk.
Better, more flexible transportation options are critical.
The Napa/Solano Area Agency on Aging and the Advisory Council on Aging are focusing advocacy efforts on these areas as well as Affordable Housing, Elder Justice and Equity. Become involved by joining the Advisory Council or by contacting one of the N/S AAA service providers and volunteering for their organization.
Every person is needed. Every person is valued. Every person matters.