By 2050, an estimated 2.9 million people in California will be 85 years old, a 364 percent increase over 2009. In preparation for this aging demographic, the California Department of Aging created and submitted its state age plan per the requirements of the Older Americans Act.
The plan focuses on three main areas upon which California will concentrate in addressing its aging demographic challenges: accessible transportation, volunteerism/community involvement, and health/wellness programs. With one of biggest state economies and most rapidly aging demographic, many consider California to be an outlier state.
Other plan highlights include:
- By focusing on two major metroppolitan areas (Los Angeles and San Francisco), California has the potential to impact nearly two-thirds of its aging population.
- Californians are relatively healthy physically, but suffer from issues like stress and depression (page 18).
- California’s plan emphasizes economics as well as demographics, thereby separating financial needs from service needs pending on geographical location.
- California has done an exceptional job of including challenges and solutions for addressing the mental health of its aging demographic (page 28-29). Mental health issues like depression are key components of addressing an aging community.
How to Use
The plan offers how California intends to address health and mental issues facing its rapidly aging and physically healthy aging population. Local governments should consider the geographical impact of California and which issues to stress, such as mental health over physical health, in their own area. This also has implications for planners who may be seeking to increase overall health for livable communities.
View full report: California State Plan on Aging – 2009-2013 (PDF – 1.2 MB)