Senior Health in San Mateo County – Current Status and Future Trends
On 13 January 2013 Ecologic Institute participated in a Healthy Communities Forum in Millbrae's Community Center (south of San Francisco, CA). Theme of this Healthy Communities Forum was the health of seniors – today and in the near-term future. Senior Fellow Tanja Srebotnjak presented a selection of the main findings as well as some surprising outcomes of the study on the status and trends in the health of seniors in San Mateo County. The presentation slides are available for download.
Seniors make up the fastest growing population segment in the US and also in San Mateo County. The growth in the senior population is expected to create several and severe shortages in the healthcare system's ability to provide for the needs of seniors. For this reason county and city governments, healthcare providers, not-for-profit and advocacy groups have already begun to plan actively for the "Silver Tsunami".
Since the planning process requires extensive information, Ecologic Institute with sponsorships from the Sequoia Healthcare District and the Peninsula Health Care District conducted a three-month study in the fall of 2012, which was formally presented at the Health Communities Forum.
The approximately 30 participants in the forum represented city and county government, senior health centers, hospital associations and not-for-profit advocacy groups. Tanja Srebotnjak's presentation was followed by an open and lively discussion round that among other questions addressed the issue of how to prioritise investments and the allocation of limited resources.
The forums are an initiative of 20 organisations under the leadership of the Sierra Club and Sustainable San Mateo and explore how the various facets of the health of our cities - economic, environmental, and social – intersect. The goal is to build a stronger community of people working together to implement the solutions to the structural changes we face, ensuring the Silicon Valley is a more resilient, healthier place- socially, environmentally, and economically.