Age Well San Diego Timeline
San Diego County residents are living longer. As a result, the older adult population within the county is becoming a larger share of the total population. Seniors over the age of 65 will make up an estimated 21% of the population by 2030, up from 14% today.
While many of these seniors will remain active and independent members of their communities, a growing number will also suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). In 2016, with guidance from AARP® and support from The San Diego Foundation, the County of San Diego joined the AARP® Network of Age-Friendly Communities, as well as the Dementia Friendly America network. These two efforts are collectively known as Age Well San Diego.
Age Well San Diego Partners are collaborating to create communities where people of all ages and abilities can thrive. These efforts focus on the needs of older adults by providing care and support, affordable housing, accessible transportation, and opportunities to work and volunteer in the community. Engaging older adults is key, as our communities can benefit from their wealth of expertise and experience. Teams of community members and experts were created to develop and implement goals in each of five identified priority areas. By 2018, an Age Well San Diego Action Plan was developed that pinpointed goals, action steps and measurements that partners committed to addressing together.
A regional framework is critical to guide efforts to meet the needs of older adults. In 2019, the Aging Roadmap was conceptualized as a broader framework to include both Age Well San Diego’s five priority areas and an additional five priority areas that better encompass all programs for older adults and individuals with disabilities in the San Diego region (See figure below for a list of all ten priority areas).
During the next decade, the number of people living in San Diego County that are 85 years of age and older will double. Building age-friendly communities requires sustained efforts, and Age Well San Diego and the Aging Roadmap provide the blueprint for the work ahead. Goals and priorities will continue to be adapted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought to the forefront issues of social
isolation, access to technology, food security and safe transportation. Progress will continue for existing age-friendly projects promoting accessory dwelling units, villages, and supports to help older adults age in place. Opportunities will be identified to expand intergenerational programming, and programming that is inclusive of people living with dementia.
Age Well San Diego partners will continue to strengthen San Diego County’s comprehensive system of care to improve the lives of older adults, their families, and the quality of life for everyone.
Partner Success Stories
San Diego Hospitals Pledge To Improve
Emergency Care For Older Patients
Seniors throughout San Diego can expect more senior-friendly care in local emergency departments with the announcement of a collaboration between regional healthcare systems, the County of San Diego, and West Health to have a majority of the region's emergency departments accredited as senior-friendly by 2021.
Healthcare leaders representing Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente San Diego, Palomar Health, Paradise Valley Hospital, Scripps Health, Sharp HealthCare, Tri-City Medical Center, UC San Diego Health and VA San Diego Healthcare System signed a pledge to join the San Diego Senior Emergency Care Initiative, a first-of-its-kind, public-private commitment by local health systems to be the first in the nation to offer accredited senior-friendly emergency care for older adults across the county.
The San Diego Senior Emergency Care Initiative would make San Diego the first region in the nation to offer accredited Geriatric Emergency Departments (GEDs) across its various healthcare systems, a cornerstone of philanthropists Gary and Mary West's $40 million commitment to expanding the use of senior-appropriate care in emergency departments around the country.
Accreditation encompasses a wide spectrum of best practices, including enhanced staffing and education, geriatric-focused policies and protocols, quality improvement initiatives and senior-friendly physical environment enhancements. Achieving accreditation recognizes emergency departments that have made a commitment toward the goal of providing quality care for older adults. With 15 out of 19 emergency departments having successfully completed accreditation, the initiative is close to having our entire region certified.
San Diego Oasis Connects Seniors to Technology
San Diego Oasis works to prevent isolation and loneliness in older adults so they can stay healthy, engaged and involved in the world. They create learning and engagement opportunities for older adults to encourage socializing and active living and have intergenerational community initiatives to help low income children to learn.
Since 2013, San Diego Oasis has worked to close the technology gap for seniors by hosting an annual Get Connected: Technology Fair. More than ever our community is relying on technology for daily activities such as ordering food, going to the doctor, and socialization. The Fair provides demonstrations and resources on how to navigate everyday technology like social media, healthcare technology, smart devices, and how to keep your information safe. These events are part of the many ways that San Diego Oasis is helping to improve Quality of Life for local residents.
Since 2013, the event has had an average of 700 to 800 attendees prior to 2019 when they had 1100. In 2019, the event moved outside of their headquarters to a Movie Theater, using six theaters to host tech talks and a central area for vendors and our popular Ask The Experts feature. In 2020 the event went virtual reaching all of California and beyond with an attendance of 2500 people – a 127% increase!
National City to Develop Walkable Urban Village
As reported in the San
Diego Union-Tribune .
As part of a vision to create an “urban village” that takes into account residents who want to age in place, the City of National City will pursue plans to build a new senior center, health facility and a pair of multi-family, affordable housing projects near Kimball Park.
In what marked a first major step forward for the vision, the City Council agreed to
enter into an agreement with two partners — nonprofit developer
Community HousingWorks and
San Ysidro Health — to hash out the
details of the plans in the next 12 months. Learn
more about the project here.
With other spots in the vicinity, such as Kimball Park, City Hall, the public library and stores such as Walmart on Highland Avenue, the city hopes the more than 170 multi-family apartments, coupled with the health and senior centers, create an age-friendly, walkable neighborhood that promotes intergenerational living, where the services and amenities in the area allow residents to age in place.