Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Novato United States of America
The city of Novato is already a leader in quality of life for aging adults. AARP ranked Novato first in the nation among small cities in health (AARP’s Livability Index), and in the Top 10 for entertainment, cultural, and arts access. The Age-friendly Task Force has worked with Novato city planners to integrate age-friendly precepts into the Novato General Plan 2035, which is the city’s long-term strategic plan and roadmap for the future.
The chart presented on the next page reflects the City of Novato’s current community policies, programs and services for older adults. They are listed within the eight domains of livability for older adults:
1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings • 23 city-owned parks, 3 county parks and 1 state park.
• 15 public facilities including senior center, pools, and day care.
• Most facilities have been fitted with ADA-conforming ramps, elevators, and toilets with handicap access.
• Ongoing program to retrofit remaining buildings to ADA conformance.
2.Transportation • Trains: SMART train with fast service from Santa Rosa to San Rafael, expanding to Larkspur Ferry
• Buses: Golden Gate Transit from Santa Rosa to San Francisco, seniors get 50% off; Whistlestop Wheels provides door-to-door service for seniors and disabled
• Taxis: Novato Dial-a-Ride door-to-door service with 2 hour notice. Catch-a-Ride within Marin County at a reduced rate for seniors and disabled;
• Autos: STAR system by Whistlestop reimburses volunteer drivers for mileage when they provide door-to-door trips; For the handicapped driving themselves, priority parking spaces for handicapped near most buildings.
3. Housing • 556 units for seniors in 10 developments, most with deed-restrictions on maximum income
• 526 units in 2 Senior Mobile Home parks
• 245 units in Assisted Living & Residential Care Homes
• 181 beds in Skilled Nursing Facilities
4. Social Participation (Access to leisure and cultural activities, and opportunities for social and civic engagement) • Margaret Todd Senior Center/Novato Independent Elders Program: enrichment and fitness courses, multicultural events, game groups, specialty groups, outreach services, yoga, line-dancing, bocce ball, volunteer work.
• Novato Senior Citizens Club: socializing, magazine exchange, sign–‐ups for catered lunches, overnight and day trips, and special events. The club hosts Sunday Bingo, Thursday Crafters’ group, Sunday Brunch.
• Novato Village: one of a national network of villages offering work exchanges, luncheons, coffees, walking groups.
• Novato Community Events: Novato Art, Wine & Music Festival, Pacheco Plaza Summer, Music Series, Sunday’s on Sherman, Downtown Farmers’ Market, Special Olympics,Torch Ceremony, Nostalgia Days Rod and Custom Car Show, Marin Summer Theatre, Novato Space Festival, 4th of July Parade, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato Theatre Company performances, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art annual, Meet the Marin Farmers Reception and Dinner, Ride the Lake Fundraiser, and Novato Sunrise Rotary Oktoberfest.
5. Respect and Social Inclusion • Crime rate: 228 crimes per 10,000 people vs 304 Median US neighborhood.
• Access to Parks: 0.8 parks within a ½ mile walk of home.
• Access to Libraries: .2 libraries within a ½ mile walk of home.
6. Civic Participation and Employment • Voting rate: 68% compared to 56% nationally.
• Cultural, Arts, and Entertainment institutions: 3.0/10,000 compared to 0.6/10,000 nationally.
• Unemployment rate: 3.3% vs. 6.2% in California
• Citizenship classes, ESL classes, and Alma Latina group at MTSC.
7. Communication and Information • City of Novato website: government services and community activities for seniors
• Margaret Todd Senior Center (see above)
• Friendship Line – Via telephone contact with seniors, trained staff and volunteers provide well-being check-ins, crisis intervention, and referrals. Staffed 24 hours every day of the year.
• Marin County Aging and Adult Services – 457 – Information and assistance help line
• Travel Navigators – Operated by Marin Transit, this is an informational resource for public transit trips
8. Community Support and Health Services • Novato Community Hospital: 24 Hour Emergency, General Surgery, Intensive Care and Laboratory Services, with 40 beds (8 for Intensive Care).
• Kaiser Permanente Hospital within 5 miles: 24 Hour Emergency, General Surgery, Intensive Care and Laboratory Services.
• Kaiser Novato Medical Offices for ambulatory care, with imaging and laboratories.
• Marin Community Clinics: 2 medical and 1 dental clinic in Novato.
• Episcopal Senior Communities/Novato Independent Elders Program at MTSC: Dining site, the Produce Market, Brown Bag Market, Home Delivered Grocery Program, Health Services Day, Flu Clinics, ongoing educational workshops, Rotary Home Team (assists with small home repairs), Yardwork assistance, blood pressure checks.
• Meals on Wheels
• Disaster preparedness classes offered by Fire Dept, and first-responders are trained and organized.