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County Proclaims 2018 Year of the Older Adult

County Proclaims 2018 Year of the Older AdultBy John Bowman

An idea from a Marin County resident has bloomed into a year-long celebration of older adults in Marin. County Supervisors Kate Sears and Dennis Rodoni took the idea to their fellow supervisors and received unanimous support for a resolution proclaiming “2018 The Year of the Older Adult” in Marin County.

The resolution states in part: “Whereas the author and feminist leader Betty Friedan taught us, ‘Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.’”

District 4 Supervisor Rodoni said, “The idea came from one of my constituents. She had been impressed with the models in similar counties and thought it would be wonderful if Marin could develop its own models. The older adult community has always been a priority of mine and this initiative is a great nexus to the other projects I am working on that will benefit the older adult community.”

Third District Supervisor Sears added, “This is a celebration of older adults who make Marin such a wonderful place to age, learn and live. It also is a call to action to identify the concerns and challenges that aging may bring so that we can better tailor services and effectively communicate their availability to those who may not know we’re here for them.

“It also amplifies the important work of the Aging Action Initiative (AAI), a countywide collaborative including the 125 service providers and County of Marin, that was launched by the Board of Supervisors in 2014. I am particularly thankful for the great leadership, energy and experience that Whistlestop CEO Joe O’Hehir has brought to the AAI. In 2018, the AAI highlights four issues important to residents of Marin County: housing, aging in community, economic security, and transportation.”

Both Supervisors praised the work that Whistlestop does for older adults. Sears said, “I have had the chance to talk frequently with CEO O’Hehir to learn about the changes in Whistlestop’s programs and services. Joe is passionate about his day-to-day work with older adults and takes great pride in the wonderful staff at Whistlestop who work hard to bring quality programs and kindness into everything they do. Whistlestop touches the lives of so many of our residents in the wide variety of programming and services it offers. With its central location in San Rafael, Whistlestop is an important community partner with Marin County’s Department of Aging and Adult Services, and a model for how to engage with the growing population of older adults.”

Rodoni added, “I continue to be impressed with the robust programming that Whistlestop offers. Our older adult community depends on Whistlestop for food, transportation and all of the services necessary to be healthy and contributing members of our community. Many of my constituents have shared personal stories on how Whistlestop is making their aging better. I must also commend the staff and leadership.”

Sears said that as an older adult herself, “I’m excited about the calendar of events we’re creating to celebrate the Year of the Older Adult.” She said she hopes people will check out the activities and attend as many as they can.

Rodoni, too, expressed enthusiasm about the events planned. “So far, each month consists of a topic that will inform our entire community of issues related to older adults. It is important to note that we are working thoughtfully to make this an intergenerational effort and appeal to all ages.”

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