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Can We Handle Our Aging Population?

March 15, 2016

Our population is aging. By the year 2030, more than a billion people will be 65 or older… about one in eight.   In general, we are not prepared for it. Today’s cities were built for a different generation, with different capabilities.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 5.52.27 PMVarious organizations and think-tanks are addressing the problem by promoting age-friendly cities. Their vision includes the following concepts:

  • Transport and infrastructure that enable the elderly to get around for shopping, recreation and appointments
  • Housing designed for “aging in place,” allowing people to remain at home as long as possible
  • Community health centers within easy access to where people live
  • Opportunities for seniors to work, learn and be active

Such changes don’t happen overnight. In the words of Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, ‘It takes 50 years to be an age-friendly city, but if we don’t start today, in 50 years, we still won’t be one.”

For those of us who live in Orange County, it’s reassuring that our local Department on Aging is doing a lot to get us toward that goal. With an amazing staff and two senior centers, the DoA provides volunteer opportunities, educational programs, caregiver respite, transport solutions and more. Learn about their many programs here:   http://www.orangecountync.gov/departments/aging/index.php

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