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Marin Community Foundation – Successful Aging

Marin Community Foundation – Successful AgingThe growth rate of the older population in Marin is the fastest in the state. By 2010, one in four adults in the County will be over 65. The largest subset of this population growth is in the over-85 age group. The service system and other relevant resources will be pushed to new limits. As older adults age, they face increasing difficulty in remaining in their own homes or other living situations without increases in home health and other supportive services.

Older adults face a unique set of challenges, including isolation (which often leads to depression, self-medication, and other secondary problems), increased falls, malnutrition, lack of information on resources, and lack of appropriate supportive services. These challenges make this population more vulnerable to hospitalizations and unwanted institutionalization. In addition, one-third of Marin’s older adults — or 21,000 residents — are dependent upon fixed income of Social Security alone. This low-income group is the target population for the Foundation’s support of client services.

Older adults are important assets to our communities, and keeping them healthy and engaged in community life is beneficial for the County’s entire population. Community engagement in older life is correlated to improved health and quality of life and improvement of overall health indicators (e.g., reduction in depression, alcohol consumption, and isolation). Older adults with access to a highly coordinated network of health and social services along with opportunities for both community engagement and employment are more likely to age in place with maximum health and dignity. A healthy, fully-engaged older citizenry ultimately strengthens the entire community.

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