For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 30, 2020
With one of oldest populations in state, Marin adopts an age-forward approach
San Rafael, CA – Feedback from more than 2,000 Marin County residents and community leaders has been incorporated into a new County of Marin action plan that puts forth a framework to make Marin more age-friendly.
The plan, titled “Age Forward,” was introduced January 28 to the Marin County Board of Supervisors, and the members unanimously approved it. Representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), members of the Marin County Commission on Aging, the Aging Action Initiative Steering Committee and the Age-Friendly Marin Network, along with some residents were there for the official rollout of the plan.
“This plan includes opportunities for people of all ages to make Marin an even more livable place,” said Lee Pullen, Director of HHS’ Aging and Adult Services Division. “We are pleased the Board of Supervisors is leading the County with a framework that applies the ‘lens of aging’ to its daily and long-range work.”
About 28% of Marin residents are 60 years old or older, a figure 10% higher than the average California county. That percentage is expected to eclipse the one-third threshold by 2025 and grow to an estimated 38% by 2030.
The County estimates that half of older adults need assistance at some point, resulting in a need for more services from government agencies, nonprofits, friends, and family. At the same time, Marin is ranked No. 1 on the list of California’s healthiest counties, resulting in people living longer lives.
The Age-Forward framework’s six focus areas were identified by residents who responded to a community survey and participated in focus groups. The chosen focus areas are housing, mobility options, community services, disaster preparedness, social connection, and services in unincorporated areas. Each focus area includes recommended action items and opportunities for equity in keeping with the HHS’ Strategic Plan to Achieve Health and Wellness Equity. The age-friendly plan also includes demographic assessments and projections, community asset findings, and plan leadership and governance.
“This is a call to action for everyone since aging affects us all,” County Administrator Matthew Hymel wrote in the plan’s introduction. “This plan represents our Board’s commitment to encouraging a concerted focus across County departments to improve and promote policies that are responsive to the needs of all generations of Marin County residents.”
The plan will be submitted to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) as the official age-friendly strategic plan for Marin. In September 2018, the WHO and AARP accepted the County into its Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. With that, the County made a five-year commitment to assess the age friendliness of the County and create a plan to make Marin more livable for people of all ages. Nine of the County’s 11 incorporated cities are also members of the Global Network.
For more information, email the Aging and Adult Services Division.
Lee PullenDirector, Aging and Adult ServicesHealth and Human Services
10 North San Pedro Rd.Suite 1023San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-2689Email: Lee PullenMarin HHS website