According to a 2013 survey that was commissioned by Pfizer, Inc. and Generations United, San Diego area residents are concerned about our city and ourselves as we get old. With nearly 10,000 people turning 60 every single day and San Diego’s senior population growing by 75% to nearly 1,000,000 people over 60 by 2030, I am not surprised.
(The tables are always full at Senior Community Centers)
The San Diego survey reveals the following findings:
- 70% of respondents in the San Diego area agree their workplace values diversity of age but their top work related fear is not being able to get a new job (63%) followed closely by not being able to retire when planned (58%).
- Only 22% of respondents feel the community is very prepared to provide appropriate healthcare facilities for older people and just 16% feel the community is very prepared to provide home caregiving.
- Only 16% feel the San Diego area is very prepared with transportation options for older people and just 15% see San Diego as very prepared to provide housing for this population.
- 56% of San Diego-area respondents feel U.S. politicians portray older generations in a positive way and more than half (53%) feel the media does, too.
- A huge majority (94%) agree that technology allows you to stay connected with the people in your life but that it’s a lot of work to keep up with (74%).
What does that mean for our city’s agencies and for Senior Community Centers? The survey shows we have some work to do educating San Diegans about the many fine resources that are available in our community for seniors. But it should also be taken as a wake-up call that we must be diligent about building a strong infrastructure to support the growing demands of an aging population. It is also a lesson for each of us, no matter our age, that we have both the opportunity and responsibility to do things that will keep us healthy, independent and able to fully enjoy our lives.