The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent.*
These changing demographics present an opportunity and a challenge for communities where the older adults live. In Santa Clara County, the Department of Aging and Adult Services recognized that a response was needed and created a unique initiative called Age Friendly Silicon Valley. The purpose of the initiative is to get all of the county’s 15 cities certified Age-Friendly by the World Health Organization.
Achieving Age-Friendly certification by the World Health Organization (WHO) requires the cities to meet eight domains set by WHO. The older adult population must be able to access the following domains: outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and information, communications and information and community support and health services.
As each city applies to join the global network, it commits to working with its own aging community to re-imagine infrastructure, services and policies. So far, 11 of the 15 cities in Santa Clara County have been certified Age-Friendly and the four other cities that are awaiting their designation are working hard to be certified.
PRxDigital partnered with County of Santa Clara’s Department of Aging and Adult Services to launch the Age Friendly Silicon Valley initiative. As part of its commitment, PRxDigital created the Age Friendly Silicon Valley website as well as its social media platforms to promote the hard work and dedication each city has put in to become certified by WHO.
In its ongoing efforts to engage older adults, Diane Miller, the Senior’s Agenda Project Manager of the Department of Aging and Adult services, announced Age Friendly Silicon Valley’s participation in Silicon Valley Reads (SV Reads). This annual, county-wide program, which lasts from February 1st to March 31st, selects books that focus on a contemporary theme and encourages the community to read, think and discuss together. The decision for Age Friendly Silicon Valley to participate in Silicon Valley Reads is natural because of its theme surrounding caregiving.
This year’s contemporary theme, “No Matter What: Caring, Coping, and Compassion” was chosen by the SV Reads board. Board members include representatives from the Santa Clara County Library District, the San Jose Public Library and the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Goodbye Vitamin, by Rachel Khong and My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward, by Mark Lukach, are the two books selected to accompany this year’s theme. Each of these stories focuses on two families that found a renewed love for each other when they were thrust into caregiving positions.
In addition, PRxDigital is promoting the SV Reads events.
The events include a series of free workshops held at libraries throughout the county which teach the participants to draw their own CareMaps. These CareMaps show the participant their care ecosystem and were developed by the non-profit, Atlas of Caregiving. Another event Age Friendly Silicon Valley is proud to co-host is a panel discussion on the use of technology in the future of caregiving. This panel will feature SV Reads author, Mark Lukach; Atlas of Caregiving founder, Rajiv Mehta; Dawn Nufus, Anthropologist and Senior Research Scientist at the Intel Corporation, and Gary Wolf, the Co-founder of Quantified Self and a Contributing Editor at Wired.
The CareMapping workshops dates and locations are as follows:
February 12th, 2018 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the Alum Rock Library in San Jose, CA.
February 13th, 2018 from 7 to 8:45 pm at the Morgan Hill Library in Morgan Hill, CA.
February 22nd, 2018 from 2 to 4 pm at the Campbell Library in Campbell, CA.
March 2nd, 2018 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Saratoga Library in Saratoga, CA.
March 5th, 2018 from 7 to 8:45 pm at the Gilroy Library in Gilroy, CA.
March 19th, 2018 from 7 to 8:45 pm at the Los Altos Library in Los Altos, CA.
The panel discussion, “Using Technology, Innovations and Data To Create A New Future For Caregiving” will be held on March 8th, 2018, at 6:30 pm at San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation.
*Fact Sheet: Aging in the United States, Population Reference Bureau (January 2016).