Christina Patch, Aging Roadmap/Age Well San Diego Coordinator, County of San Diego
Our relationships encourage us to take better care of ourselves, try new activities, and develop a sense of purpose. Studies show individuals with strong social ties live longer and healthier than those with poor social relationships. Yet as we age, maintaining relationships can be hard if we live far from family, experience health issues, lack transportation, or are busy caring for others.
To prevent social isolation and loneliness amongst older adults, the County of San Diego created an Aging Roadmap, which includes the Age Well San Diego Action Plan.
This plan lays out the County’s five-year plan to become an age-friendly community which is directed by five Age Well Teams, each with its own goals to make the county a better place for older adults. The teams include Housing, Transportation, Health & Community Support, Dementia-Friendly, and Social Participation, and are led by the collaboration of professionals and community residents.
The Age Well Social Participation Team is working on increasing opportunities for older adults to stay engaged in the community. Helping an isolated senior get engaged can be challenging, so the first step was to create easy-to-use resource guides like the “Ways to Engage” flyer, and newly released "Ways to Engage for Homebound Seniors". This team also created a “Join an Advisory Board” guide to help older adults looking for opportunities to get civically engaged and increase social connections.
Other simple steps for older adults to become more connected include:
To learn more about the Age Well San Diego Action Plan, please contact Christina Patch at Christina.Patch@sdcounty.ca.gov.