Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Marin County United States of America
Currently, 27 percent of Marin County’s population is 60 and older and by 2030, projections indicate at least one in three Marin residents will be 60 or older. Celebrating the contributions of older adults while recognizing more needs to be done to support these important members of the community, the Marin County Board of Supervisors proclaimed 2018 as the Year of the Older Adult. This proclamation represents the culmination of several initiatives, organizations, community policies, programs and services that together form a strong foundation on which to build the Age-Friendly County of Marin Initiative.
Chief among these efforts are:
The Aging Action Initiative (AAI) — A collective impact endeavor formed to promote an age-friendly environment through education, policy advocacy and service coordination. Representatives from more than 100 local nonprofit, public and private sector organizations have participated by planning and implementing efforts, attending educational sessions, and working together to provide coordinated services.
The Marin County Area Agency on Aging — Planner, funder and advocate for older adults in Marin. More than 20 programs are provided directly or through community-based organizations, including assisted transportation, case management, congregate and home-delivered meals, family caregiver support, and senior center activities.
Community-Based Organizations — Dozens of community-based organizations provide services to older adults, their families and caregivers in Marin, including the 15 organizations contracted by the Area Agency on Aging. Together, they form a strong service network as demonstrated by their involvement in the AAI, the Community Agency Serving Seniors, the Bridges Committee of health care and human services organizations and other collaborative groups.
The Marin Commission on Aging — A highly engaged 23-member advisory council to the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Its mission is to promote the dignity, independence and quality of life of older adults through advocacy, information, programs and services. The 11 commissioners appointed by each of Marin’s incorporated cities and towns have been the primary drivers of forming task forces and working with city and town councils to shape their involvement in the age-friendly movement. The Commission’s leadership has helped Marin County to earn a reputation as a national forerunner in the age-friendly movement.
Age-Friendly Cities — Six of Marin’s 11 incorporated cities and towns — Corte Madera, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Novato, San Rafael and Sausalito– are members of the WHO and/or AARP age-friendly networks with Sausalito being the first age-friendly city in Marin and one of the first in California. The other five incorporated cities and towns are exploring or preparing to request membership in the networks. Local age-friendly city leaders formed the Marin Age-Friendly Network to share ideas, opportunities and best practices, discuss challenges and otherwise support one another’s efforts. The County of Marin’s AgeFriendly project manager already has a seat at the table to maximize efforts across the county.
Marin Villages and Sausalito Village — Marin Villages is an alliance of local villages with one central office that focuses on administration, funding and program development. Members from around the county call the office with requests for assistance. Staff work to match volunteers to assist members. Sausalito Village offers supportive services and volunteer opportunities, as well as educational, cultural, fitness and social activities to help members live independently and actively in the community.
County of Marin Departments — several departments are already implementing age-friendly services, programs and practices. For example, the Parks Department offers regular “Senior Strolls.” The Library Department brings books to people throughout the county via its mobile library, benefiting those who may be homebound, of advanced age, frail and/or who live in rural and unincorporated areas. Cultural Services produces the annual Marin County Fair whose 2018 theme was “All for One and Fun for All,” offering music, arts and activities geared to multiple generations. The Age-Friendly County of Marin project manager will work with all departments to encourage adoption of additional age-friendly programs and approaches to providing services to residents from throughout the county, especially in the unincorporated areas.