Aging Action Initiative Changing Seasons By Linda M. Jackson, Aging Action Initiative Program Director
This month was one of the busiest ever. Zoom kept me tied to a chair for hours at a time each day, zipping from one meeting to another.

The hot dry scene out my window at the beginning of the month contrasted with the grey damp scene at the end of the month. I’ve also had the joy of being WITH other human beings at the first in-person meetings in months, and the sorrow of attending memorial services.

How quickly the human species can switch gears. This adaptability is our great strength and why change for the better happens. In that spirit, I offer a fall serving of change-making actions you can take.

Ageism. Begin with ourselves. For a recent look about ageism in the world, take a few moments to read this short piece https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/09/20/discrimination-against-older-people-pervasive-worldwide# about prejudice affecting older people around the world. AAI is asking that the Diversity/Equity&Inclusion work across Marin include older people. We need ‘lived experience’ and grassroots organizations working in aging and disabilities at the table, and we need meetings that are accessible to all.

 

Housing. The high cost of housing, the lack of housing options, and need for supportive services at some point create unique challenges for older adults who want to stay in the place they call home. Please share these reports with your local housing planners and your favorite elected officials!

1) Read this brand new report from San Diego about older adults and homelessness: https://servingseniors.org/news-events/senior-homelessness-a-needs-assessment.html

The findings and recommendations are an insight into issues facing Marin’s low-income seniors and into solutions to consider in the new housing plans being written next year.

2) This housing analysis should be included in every new housing plan in Marin: Older Adult Housing in Marin: Planning for 2030.

https://www.marinhhs.org/sites/default/files/boards/general/coa_housing_report_4_6_2018_-_approved.pdf

Every jurisdiction is included in the Commission on Aging report, with information about affordable senior units and projections about the need for housing options. If your local planner says the information needs to be updated, let them know that ‘yes, please do that!’

Master Plan on Aging: Opportunities for Your Organization. Governor Newson signed a plethora of bills to implement key initial initiatives in the brand new Master Plan on Aging. The 2021-22 Enacted State Budget: Master Plan for Aging Investments https://www.aging.ca.gov/download.ashx?lE0rcNUV0zYvPOOR%2f3K2pQ%3d%3d describes each new or expanded investment in programs for older adults. With a word search (‘housing’, ‘health’, ‘immigrant’, ‘care’, etc) you can quickly find out what’s new for the work that your organization does.

Convening. In case you missed keynote speakers Louise Aronson or Fernando Torres-Gil, or one (or more) of the breakout sessions, now you can binge watch the parts you’d like to watch, or re-watch. You can also forward links to your favorite elected person, and invite them to watch your favorite sessions.  Here is your link to watch: 

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZsKyzphJcxnoXfiDAnj5Cvq272ROVMBU

Speaking of AAI’s 2021 Convening, we had the highest registration ever (200). Leaders from the Marin Commission on Aging, the County of Marin, and a myriad of health, education and community-based organizations contributed their expertise and insights during the day. On behalf of the AAI Steering Committee, thank you to everyone who spoke, and to all who came. It was inspiring to see you all there and to feel the power of the day.

As we open up following the guidance of Marin Health&Human Services, I look forward to seeing you around Marin ~

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