By the year 2020, Riverside County will experience a 200% increase in persons over the age of 60 who will make up approximately 25% of the County’s total population. As Boomers age, they are changing the way America thinks about aging and older adulthood, making it necessary to alter the approach to service provision for the older population.
In recent years, we have begun to experience an increased need to provide services at the local level, in communities where older adults live. In order to meet the needs of the new older adult, service providers must focus on coordination, program development, service integration, and innovation because as they age, Boomers will seek long term care options that allow them to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Most importantly, service providers will need to work together to integrate services in order to support the growing aging population.
The Riverside County Office on Aging engages in outreach, education and advocacy activities, and develops comprehensive strategic plans to assist adults as they age. The Office on Aging is preparing for impending changes through the development of specific goals and objectives that focus on providing older adults with access to the services they need as they age, thereby helping them to live strong and healthy lives, and to provide them with options for choices about how, when and where they receive services. The Office on Aging has also set internal goals that will assist with improving customer service by increasing efficiencies, integrating new technologies, and improving communication. The Office on Aging is also initiating and participating in the critical conversations that are part of integrating and improving the services older adults will need in the future.
I am excited about what is to come and look forward to increased collaboration with community partners, fellow advocates, providers, constituents, and staff in support of our mission to promote and support a life of dignity, well-being and independence for older adults and persons with disabilities.