CONVENE & CONNECT: What’s Next for Aging in Marin?

aai-meeting2-5041

Wednesday April 20, 2016 | 8:30 – 11:30 am | Tickets Required |

Aging Action Initiative 3rd Convening 

Join Aging Action Initiative work group members, policy makers, and other colleagues from across the county as we come together to shape the future of aging in Marin. Share your unique perspective as we explore what’s next for:

  • Influencing Policy,
  • Aligning Community Outreach, and
  • Coordinating Action

This convening will be your opportunity to learn more about the full landscape of aging related county-wide initiatives currently underway and to help us weave them together.

Did you know?

  • The Aging Action Initiative’s 4 work groups have launched 9 action projects, producing more than 13 different pilot programs or events in just 18 months?
  • More than 8 different aging related collective efforts are currently underway in Marin?
  • Three of our communities have already been designated as “Age Friendly” by the World Health Organization?
  • New data on older adults in Marin is now available from recent MCF and County needs assessments?

Don’t miss this unique, informative, and engaging opportunity to appreciate accomplishments, expand and strengthen our relationship network, and deepen our community impact.

Get in on the Action

When: Wednesday April 20th, 8:30am-11:30am

Where: Embassy Suites, San Rafael CA

How: Register now at http://aaiconvening3.bpt.me

About Aging Action Initiative
The purpose of the Aging Action Initiative is to promote a county-wide age-friendly environment, especially for those in need, collectively created by a strong network of aging service providers through public education, policy advocacy, and service coordination. The initiative is a collective effort of over 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commissions and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin, and coordinated by MarinSpace.

To learn more, take a look at the AAI Fact Sheet.

Please \"like\" us to stay connected:

Now Hiring: Whistlestop

Whistlestop logo_horizontal

Now Hiring! 

The Active Aging Center is now hiring for two key positions:

Active Aging Center Manager

Nutrition Program Coordinator

Founded in 1954 as Marin Senior Coordinating Council, Whistlestop promotes the independence, well-being and quality of life for older adults and people living with disabilities in Marin County. Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center provides delicious meals, educational classes, multicultural gatherings and helpful information and referral services. Whistlestop also provides special needs transportation services through Marin Access, a partnership of Whistlestop, Marin Transit and Golden Gate Transit.

Whistlestop is recognized as one of the Best Places to work in the North Bay.  They offer a dynamic team-oriented environment where every day they make a positive impact on people’s lives. Whistlestop offers competitive wages and a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, life, retirement and more.

For more information on these and other openings at Whistlestop, click here.

 

Please \"like\" us to stay connected:

Targeting the Root of Senior Hunger

Aging Today

November 12, 2015 | About aging and hunger from the Sept/Oct issue of Aging Today by the American Society on Aging

“Today, millions of older adults face food insecurity instead of sharing meals and stories with their grandchildren. With 10,000 people turning 65 every day, and with today’s growing rates of income inequality, by 2050, 18 million older Americans will face hunger and food insecurity.”

Aging Today

Growing up, my relationships with the most important older adults in my life revolved around food. My grandfather loved food. To make a living, he interwove this love with lifelong entrepreneurial endeavors—after graduating from high school, he immediately went to work as a milkman (back when milk was delivered to your home—and not by an Amazon drone), then he became a candy salesman, then the owner of a corner store and, ultimately, a restaurant supply distributor.

As kids, my siblings and cousins and I spent countless hours riding around in the back of his station wagon delivering food to restaurant kitchens throughout San Francisco. Before we would leave the house at four in the morning, we all fueled up on my grandmother’s waffles, and when we returned home in the evening, we refueled with lamb and tabbouleh. My grandfather would tell stories as we ate. He was always the last to finish because he told so many stories and because—as a child of the Depression—he made it a point to finish off every scrap of food the rest of us left on our plates. I can’t imagine growing up without those meals together.

But today, millions of older adults face food insecurity instead of sharing meals and stories with their grandchildren. With 10,000 people turning 65 every day, and with today’s growing rates of income inequality, by 2050, 18 million older Americans will face hunger and food insecurity. The rate of food insecurity among low-income older adults has been steadily increasing. Twenty-four percent of this population regularly skips meals, runs out of food before the end of the month, and has trouble eating balanced, healthy meals. This is up from 19 percent in 2008, all according to a Government Accountability Office report. For the one in six older adults facing food insecurity right now, sufficient groceries are often the line item in fixed budgets that gets slashed, making a mayo sandwich for lunch and bowl of cornflakes for dinner the reality for too many. We have to tackle the crisis of senior hunger in the immediate term, and at its deep, underlying root.

Getting Food on the Table

As today’s 9.5 million people older than age 60 struggle to afford food, programs like Meals on Wheels, the SNAP program, food banks, and free meals provided by churches and community centers are low-income older adults’ bread and butter.

Many of our partners have stepped up with tremendous efforts to improve older adults’ access to food. The National Coalition on Aging’s Senior SNAP Enrollment Initiative is helping to facilitate and streamline the application process to get more low-income older adults connected to existing resources (only a third of eligible elders are enrolled in SNAP). And our friends at AARP are doing effective work on hunger through research, education and on-the-ground partnerships and coalitions. But more needs to be done.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 82 percent of food insecure elders don’t receive any meal delivery services such as Meals on Wheels, either because there isn’t enough funding, or they are unaware of the services, or barriers—such as lack of transportation or physical disabilities—prevent them from accessing services.

Getting at the Root of the Problem

In our efforts to ameliorate senior hunger, we have to make sure we don’t treat it as a discrete issue. Hunger is the end result of growing levels of poverty and economic security, connected to many related problems such as poor health, obesity, depression, decreased immunity and lack of energy for the activities of daily life.

As we design strategies to address hunger, we must also work to combat income inequality and poverty. Enid Borden, of the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, has said, “Pouring money into feeding folks today is certainly part of the equation, but determining solutions that will last means investing wisely and purposefully in preventing senior hungertomorrow.” Policy makers obsessed with rising healthcare costs and government spending have to understand that spending money to feed hungry older adults can help reduce healthcare costs, and ensuring the economic security of all older people can help address hunger.

We can improve millions of lives in one fell swoop and put more food on older adults’ tables by prioritizing their economic security. By doing this, we improve health and safety, decrease suffering and give them the opportunity to live with the dignity they deserve. We need to strengthen safety net programs and update them to match financial realities. We must urge Congress to restore SSI, and expand, strengthen and protect the existing programs that alleviate financial burdens on older people. These include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the programs funded under the Older Americans Act. That’s how we’ll fight senior hunger at its root—poverty.

Kevin Prindiville is executive director of Justice in Aging, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Editor’s Note: This article appears in the September/October 2015 issue of Aging Today, ASA’s bi-monthly newspaper covering issues in aging research, practice and policy. ASA members receive Aging Today as a member benefit; non-members may purchase subscriptions at our online store or Join ASA.

 

Please \"like\" us to stay connected:

Marin I&A Web and PDF Resource Directories

SF Marin Bay Area Map

The following is a list of existing information and assistance website databases and PDF or print resource directories.

Please \"like\" us to stay connected:

Marin County Supervisor Kate Sears

Marin Supervisor Kate Sears

August 19, 2015 | Supervisor Sears shares her thoughts about aging in Marin.

Aging in Marin: Meeting Our Growing Needs by Initiating Multi-Year,
Public-Private Partnerships to Deliver a Better Future for Older Adults

Starting in January of 2015, I began serving as the Board of Supervisor’s liaison for issues of aging throughout the County. Mid-way into this year, I’m delighted to report that the County of Marin is hard at work on several fronts coordinating initiatives in four high-priority issue areas affecting older adults: care coordination; mental health; dementia and cognitive impairment; and food and nutrition.

Profile of Aging in Marin: A Rapidly Expanding Older Population and Many Facing Economic Challenges

Currently, Marin is the oldest county in the Bay Area and our older population is growing more than 1.5 times as fast as the rest of the state. Today, 27% of Marin’s residents are over 60 years old and one out of every four of these individuals is over the age of 75. Nearly 13% of Marin’s residents are older adults of color.

By 2030, more than 33% of our residents will be over 60 and about 14% will be over 75. Marin is not the only area with an aging demographic. Soon, for the first time in history, there will be more people on this planet over the age of 65 than under the age of 5.

Many of our older neighbors are struggling to get by. Approximately 4,600 older adults over 60 in Marin fall below 125% of the Federal Poverty Level. A sizable number (21%) of adults over 65 have incomes over the Federal Poverty Level but below the California Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index), which measures how much income a retired adult over 65 needs to adequately meet his/her basic needs. More than half of all elder renters living alone in Marin are trying to survive on incomes below the Elder Index. Four out of 10 elders living alone who own their home but are still paying off a mortgage are unable to meet their basic needs. In high-cost Marin, almost one quarter of elders who own their home outright cannot make ends meet.

Genesis of Marin County’s Aging Action Initiative

Given these population dynamics and emerging income challenges, in 2013, my colleagues and I on the Board of Supervisors asked how we were addressing this changing landscape and the current and future needs of Marin’s older adults. Seeing the need for more action, the Board set aside start-up implementation funds to catalyze the Aging Action Initiative.

After six months of collaborative and intensive planning, county staff, service providers, community leaders and members of the Marin Commission on Aging, are off and running building momentum for enhanced and expanded collective impact. A summary of the Aging Action Initiative’s nine Year One Action Items is here. It’s a strong first step in a continuing journey.

Age Friendly Initiatives Blossoming In Marin: Creating More Fully Engaging Environments for All

With the strong desire of older adults to continue living at home in their own communities, individuals and service providers have come together throughout Marin to make their communities age-friendly. An “age friendly” community is one where policies and services, as well as the physical and social environments, are designed to support and enable older people to live in a safe environment, enjoy optimal health and continue to participate fully in their communities.

A number of Marin County jurisdictions are in the process of pursuing designation as a World Health Organization (WHO) Age Friendly community. Pursuit of this designation includes an initial application, a letter of commitment from the Mayor and municipal administration, completion of a needs assessment and a three-year city-wide action plan based on the findings of the needs assessment. The City of Sausalito jumped out of the starting blocks, gaining the Age Friendly designation in April of 2014. Fairfax and Corte Madera quickly followed suit and interest is spreading to other communities.

Call a Ride for Sausalito Seniors (CARSS), a partnership between Age Friendly Sausalito and Sausalito Village, launched in May 2015 with a $15,000 grant from Marin Transit. This on-demand service provides rides to Sausalito seniors 60 years and older within Sausalito, the floating homes community and Gateway Shopping Center. More information about this innovative program is available at www.carss4you.org.

Age Friendly Sausalito also is addressing the shortage of affordable housing by promoting Home Sharing, and working with the city’s Building and Planning Department to address issues of accessibility. These are important efforts which we are looking to as potential models for many of our communities.

 

Please \"like\" us to stay connected: