San Diego County CA— The San Diego Foundation, in partnership with The Del Mar Healthcare Fund at The San Diego Foundation, today announced grants for seven local programs that will enhance the quality of life for older adults in San Diego County.
The 2016 Age Friendly Communities grants total $276,000 and will help create communities where older adults can age in place, live affordably, and are fully included and engaged in all aspects of daily life. The grant programs will also support a regional effort by the County of San Diego and City of Chula Vista to adopt these values as members of the World Health Organization and AARP Age Friendly Communities Network.
The grants awarded include: County of San Diego ($75,000); Children’s Initiative ($51,000); City of Chula Vista ($50,000); UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging ($25,000); Alliance for Regional Solutions ($25,000); Alzheimer’s San Diego ($25,000); and Interfaith Community Services ($25,000).
“The San Diego region has an opportunity to serve as a global role model by leveraging the talents and energy of its older adults,” urged Don Ambrose, President of Del Mar Healthcare, Inc. “Today, we have a very different social structure than past generations, with more retired residents living active, independent lifestyles in their communities. In order for these San Diegans to age in place and continue playing a role in their neighborhoods, we must ensure that the needs of this population are considered as our public officials and leaders plan and implement projects.”
“By joining the World Health Organization and AARP Age Friendly Communities Network, the region’s leaders have taken important first steps to ensure San Diego’s older adults can age in place and stay connected to their communities,” explained Kathlyn Mead, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “The latest Age Friendly Communities grant-making will ensure that this momentum continues by addressing specific challenges and opportunities to help create a more accessible, equitable and inclusive region for all residents.”
According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, between 2003 and 2013 the population age 60 and over increased 30.7 percent from about 48 million to almost 63 million. In San Diego County, the number of people 65 and over is expected to double by 2030. The San Diego Foundation seeks to understand the challenges of this aging population boom and potential solutions for our region through education and information.
In 2013, The San Diego Foundation Age Friendly Communities program released the Evaluation of The Our Aging Society report, which analyzed the impact of grants made from 2011 to 2013 to improve the quality of life for seniors throughout the region. The research indicated that philanthropy played a direct role in increasing social connections among older adults, decreasing isolation, and improving physical and mental health. The data also emphasized that continuing awareness, reducing barriers to community participation, and delivering high quality social programs are all factors to grow San Diego as an age friendly community.
About the 2016 Grantees:
Interfaith Community Services
North County Senior Connections Food Truck – $25,000
Providing social and educational activities for older adults encourages community fellowship. The Interfaith Community Services Senior Connections program helps build community among seniors, as well as increase the wellness and food security of North County residents. Interfaith also will bring nutritious meals and supportive services to older adults who may not have access to reliable transportation.
County of San Diego
Age Friendly San Diego – $75,000
The grant will enable the County of San Diego to measure and deliver on strategic efforts as a member of the World Health Organization and AARP’s Age Friendly Communities Network. Leaders will assess how the County of San Diego’s Live Well San Diego initiative aligns with the goals of the Age Friendly Communities Network, and identify how best to enhance services and opportunities for older adults, specifically in the areas of transportation, housing, neighborhood development, civic participation and community support. Grant funding will also support the Aging Summit in June, where an estimated 2,500 older adults and service providers will come together to assess regional needs.
Third Grade Reading Project for Seniors – $51,000
Intergenerational relationship opportunities create stronger bonds within the community and a sense of purpose for older adults. The Children’s Initiative program will pair older adult volunteers within the local community with third grade students from San Diego Unified School District to read and mentor the children. The goal of the program is to increase reading proficiency as well as intergenerational engagement.
City of Chula Vista
Chula Vista Age Friendly Strategic Plan – $50,000
The grant funding will provide Chula Vista with the necessary tools to enter into the World Health Organization and AARP’s Age Friendly Communities Network, as well as develop a strategic plan to create a livable community for all. Experts will help identify gaps in services for older adults and provide walking audits and Community Cafés that enable Chula Vista to support new residents, discover common interests and rally around collective efforts that allow older adults to be more informed electors and consumers.
UC San Diego Stein Center for Healthy Aging
Engaging Seniors in Advocacy for Age – $25,000
The grant program will assess changes in the advocacy skills, confidence and attitudes of older adults, and build long term outreach to engage in advocacy. UC San Diego Stein Center for Healthy Aging will also assess the feasibility of the MAPS-Mini and an intergenerational approach in specific communities, including South Bay.
Alliance for Regional Solutions
North County Senior Alliance – $25,000
The grant program will review and complete a needs assessment for North County older adults, in an efforts to identify local resources that can be leveraged to more effectively serve the residents in the community. Alliance for Regional Solutions will address key areas of support, including coordinated case management, affordable housing, transportation, and food and health.
Alzheimer’s San Diego
Dementia Aware Business – $25,000
The grant support will help develop the Dementia Aware initiative for the San Diego business community. Alzheimer’s San Diego will collaborate with local businesses and community organizations to provide educational training and workshops that will raise the level of awareness, knowledge and compassion among all employees, while providing additional support to employees personally affected.