Safety, Security, Quality of Life—these are things important to Marin’s older adults; the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), part of the County of Marin’s Health and Human Services Department, is set to work with the residents of Marin in addressing these important issues. As an agency serving the public, the AAA takes a collaborative and community based approach in identifying priorities and providing services.
The priorities and services are shaped, in part, by an area needs assessment which the AAA conducts every four years. In the Fall 2015 edition of the Great Age, a survey was included for adults aged 60 and older to indicate their economic and health status, household and family makeup, and other potential issues of concern. Over 3,000 surveys were received.
The survey revealed that the top issues of concern overall for Marin’s older adults were: Falls; Losing Memory/ Cognition; Financial Security; Crime/ Financial Abuse; End of Life Planning; and Feeling Isolated/ Depressed. Results from the survey also looked at the differences in those whose incomes were above—versus below—the amount needed to be self-sufficient and make ends meet. Those who fell below this level had a poorer health status, were more likely to be at nutrition risk, and had less access to resources, including caregiver support.
In January of this year, two convenings were held where members of the public reviewed and discussed the results. The feedback collected was used to determine the following four goals for the AAA’s 2016-2020 Area Plan, which will be used to shape specific objectives aimed at addressing the identified issues of importance and funding priorities:
- Enhance the safety, security, and quality of life for older adults.
- Support and promote local efforts to create livable communities for all.
- Improve visibility and usability of information, services, and resources.
- Encourage innovative approaches to policy and services through community collaboration and advocacy.
As Marin’s 60+ population continues to rise over the next decade from one in four to nearly one in three, the AAA will continue its commitment to address issues of aging and educate the public and community toward advocating and enacting good policies that support an age-friendly environment.
The AAA 2016-2020 Area Plan can be found at: http://www.livelonglivewellmarin.org or you can request a copy by calling 415-457-INFO (4636).
Lee Pullen is the Director of the Area Agency on Aging
Over the past few months, the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), a unit within Aging and Adult Services, has been conducting a needs assessment of older adults in Marin County. The purpose is to inform their area planning process, a federal mandate to be conducted every four years. The process will culminate in the development of the AAA’s Area Plan 2016-2020 and their upcoming contract cycle. Through collaborations with community agencies, faith based organizations, HHS Enrollment and Eligibility, RX Safe Marin, HHS health clinics, state representatives, and others – over 3,000 surveys were returned and analyzed. The HHS Prevention Hub and Media Team were instrumental in survey design, and the HHS Epidemiology program assisted in analyzing the data. Results from the survey were used to ascertain the needs of Marin’s older persons age 60 and above. Differences were found among residents based on income, including: nutrition risk, health status, and access to caregiving services. Regardless of income, top issues of concern for older adults include falls, mental/ cognitive impairment, financial security, crime/ financial abuse, end of life planning, and depression/ isolation.
Important information to have as we plan so that people in Marin can Live Long Live Well.
A great achievement for 2015!
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2015
Marin Prepares for Longevity Boom
Community resources just a call or click away with enhanced County staff
San Rafael, CA – Older adults are the fastest growing age group in Marin County. Today one in four Marin residents is over age 60, and that number is estimated to rise to one in three by 2030. On average, Marin residents enjoy a life expectancy that ranks among the top five of all counties in the United States.
On the right is a 5-foot-tall sign promoting the Information & Assistance phone number 415-457-INFO. On the left are people mingling at an information table at senior fair.The new 415-457-INFO line was promoted at the recent Senior Fair in San Rafael.
The County of Marin recognizes the growing needs of seniors and assigns it a high priority. With a growing older adult population living longer lives, more questions are being asked about appropriate community-based resources. Marin County Aging and Adult Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is poised to provide answers.
Over the past year, the department’s Information and Assistance program has undergone major enhancements to meet the needs of older adults, family members and care partners in Marin. By reorganizing existing personnel and processes, there are now more HHS professional resource staff members available to speak directly to those calling 415-457-INFO during business hours. Callers can receive information about a full range of local public, nonprofit and private social services and related resources. The professional resource workers can help a caller explore options and identify individual needs and circumstances.
More assistance is available online with HHS’ new Community Resource Guide, a comprehensive service database. If face-to-face contact is preferred, in-person visits can be arranged at the Aging and Adult Services office at 10 North San Pedro Road in San Rafael.
“The goal is that you get to the right place for services and information in a way that works for you,” said Lee-Pullen, Director of Aging and Adult Services.
“When I reached out, I got an immediate response,” said Adriana Brown, a San Rafael resident. “Someone answered the phone and gave me resources to help my mom. I got a follow-up call and an email. There was so much effort, and people were so kind. The experience was very positive and rewarding.”
Many older Marin residents want to stay in their homes and continue living in the community. However, gradually they might need some assistance with help at home, yard care, meal deliveries or transportation. The Information and Assistance program, and specifically the new Community Resource Guide, is an important resource for those residents and their families. The program is a fundamental element of HHS’ service system for adults, complimenting existing community programs and strengthening connections between them.
“Navigating community resources can be challenging and overwhelming, and no one should feel they have to do it alone,” said Chloe Cook, supervisor of the 415-457-INFO service. “It is OK to ask for assistance. In fact, it’s encouraged. We are here to help.”
Marin County Aging and Adult Services is committed to ensuring that residents get connected to needed services and information. Contact 415-457-INFO (4636) or email 457INFO@marincounty.org. Learn more by visiting Live Long Live Well.