Our San Diego Seniors

by Denise Scatena

West Health, along with The SCAN Foundation, released the results of a survey that says California is not prepared to care for its seniors. By 2030, the number of people over the age of 65 in San Diego County is expected to almost double to more than 720,000 seniors. We will be in a very scary predicament if action is not taken by our elected officials to lay the proper programs in place now.

The survey is a cornerstone of a nonpartisan, nonprofit nonprofit We Stand With Seniors campaign launched earlier this year to educate policymakers about the needs of California seniors. Representatives from the two organizations have met with both CA gubernatorial candidates to discuss senior issues and had them sign a pledge to “stand with seniors.” 

key survey findings, which include:

·  An overwhelming majority of California voters believe the state is failing seniors and they are so concerned about their ability to pay for the care they need in the future that a majority of them are willing to raise taxes. 

·  An overwhelming majority – 84 percent – of California voters would be more likely to support a candidate for governor who has a vision and long-term master plan to address the state’s increasing need for senior services.

·  Two out of three voters think the state is not doing enough for seniors now (64 percent) nor is it prepared to address their future needs (59 percent). 

·  More than half of voters (57 percent) support a tax increase to fund a long-term care system.

Why is this important? Let’s do the math.

In San Diego County, there are approximately 374,000 seniors age 65 or older. This represents almost 12 percent of the county’s total population of 3.1 million. By 2030 (in just 12 years!) that number is expected to double. This local growth is mirrored nationally — 10,000 baby boomers a day turn 65, with 1,000 a day turning 65 in California alone.