SAN JOSE (KCBS) – No baby boom here. In Santa Clara County, it’s all about the aging population.

“Right now in Santa Clara County we’re looking at about 200,000 individuals who are over the age of 65. That represents 11% of the population. By 2030 that’s going to double, to 22% of the population, as we look at close to 450,000 older adults in our community,” predicted Lee Pullen, Santa Clara County Dir. of Aging and Adult Services.

“What we saw in the 1950s with the schools needing to be expanded and the suburbs needed to be expanded, now we need to expand our services for older adults as we look into the next twenty years,” he added.

Thursday, a public meeting was held to discuss a seniors’ agenda action plan, commissioned by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in concert with representatives of the county’s Dept. of Aging and Adult Services.

Transportation and home health were considered to be two of the most pressing needs for this segment of the population.

“People need to start thinking about when they can’t drive anymore,” warned Mary Anne Mendall, seniors agenda consultant. “What are they going to do? Are they familiar with how to use public transit? Do they understand the availability of paratransit? Or do they have a system in place with family or friends that can help them get around?”

“When those keys get taken away and they can’t drive anymore, they’re isolated” Mendall continued, “unless they have a system in place to get them to the doctor, to the grocery store, to the senior center, wherever they want to go.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

She also advised residents to take a critical look at their living arrangements. Are there stairs in the house that would be hard to navigate in later years? Are doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair? The goal is to identify and remedy potential hazards before they become legitimate problems.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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