Building an Age- and Dementia-Friendly California

By Dr. Marcy Adelman. This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Bay Times.

Former California First Lady Maria Shriver will head a new Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force. (Fresno Bee)

I am proud and honored to announce that I have been invited by Governor Newsom and former California First Lady Maria Shriver to join the Governor’s Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force. The Task Force consists of 29 members. It is a diverse group of formal and informal experts— caregivers, health service providers, researchers, policy experts, advocates, affected families and media professionals. The Task Force is charged with developing a plan that will work for all Californians living with Alzheimer’s and for the people who care for them.

For the last seven years, I have had the opportunity to advocate for, and to help create, more LGBTQ older adult culturally competent Bay Area dementia services and to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s and other age-related brain diseases in the LGBTQ and other high risk and underserved communities. The Alzheimer’s Task Force is a huge opportunity to create better and more inclusive dementia programs, services and policies statewide.

The state Task Force will develop recommendations for how local communities, private organizations, businesses, government and families can best prepare for the projected 25% + increase by 2025 in the number of Californians living with Alzheimer’s and other age-related brain diseases. The recommendations will be knitted into the Governor’s Master Plan for Aging. Together, these two statewide efforts will prepare California for an increasingly older population by helping to build an age and dementia friendly California for all Californians.

“The Golden State is getting grayer and we need to be ready for the major population changes headed our way,” stated Governor Newsom in announcing the Master Plan for Aging. “An aging population will introduce new opportunities for economic and community growth, but also drive increased health and long-term care costs. We need a plan that brings everyone to the table—local communities, labor, private sector and philanthropy—to help us understand what’s coming and guide us toward taking better care of older Californians.”

TASK FORCE MEMBERS: https://www.chhs.ca.gov/home/committees/governors-task-force-on-alzheimers/

 

 

Dr. Marcy Adelman, Co-Founder of the nonprofit Openhouse, oversees the Aging in Community column. She is a psychologist and LGBTQI longevity advocate and policy advisor. She serves on the California Commission on Aging, the Board of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada and the San Francisco Dignity Fund Oversight and Advisory Committee.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.