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- Download the full PDF Version of the Report [PDF]
San Diego’s population is aging. This trend mirrors the national growth of the senior population in the United States. While approximately 45 million Americans are currently 65 or older, that number will reach 73 million Americans by 2030. AARP and the World Health Organization have partnered to help cities prepare for the aging population through their program called Age-Friendly Communities (AFCs).
To become an AFC, a jurisdiction must plan for both the built and social environment that supports its aging population. To achieve great communities for seniors, and residents of all ages, many communities pursuing the AFC designation utilize the Eight Domains of Livability framework developed by the World Health Organization. The following Eight Domains of Livability are incorporated into required Action Plans, which serve as the guiding document for creating an AFC:
Domain 1: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
Domain 2: Transportation
Domain 3: Respect and Social Inclusion
Domain 4: Housing
Domain 5: Communication and Information
Domain 6: Civic Participation and Employment
Domain 7: Community Support and Health Services
Domain 8: Social Participation
In addition, Dementia-Friendly Communities is frequently added as a ninth Domain. Dementia-Friendly communities provide the support needed for those living with dementia to help them live as independently as possible. Jurisdictions pursuing AFC designation may incorporate areas outside of the Eight Domains of Livability that address their unique situation.
San Diego’s senior population is growing rapidly. The population of San Diegans 55 and older is expected to grow by 194 percent from 2012 to 2035 to a population of over a million. Motor vehicle collisions are a leading health issue impacting older adults. So are issues of homelessness and displacement. The cost of living in San Diego poses a large threat for seniors, who largely live on fixed incomes. Seniors are also negatively impacted by poverty and social isolation with about a quarter of seniors living alone or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line.
This report explains the steps and commitments needed for a city to become an Age-Friendly Community to be able to address the many issues that impact the quality of life for older adults in San Diego County. This report also shares the benefits of joining the Age-Friendly Network through a review of best practices from across the country in each of the Eight Domains of Livability.
KPBS, May 14, 2019
KUSI, May 15, 2019
KUSI, May 17, 2019