According to a recent online news article, an organization studying the strategic plan for Orange County, CA has found that the aging population here is increasing. Seal Beach, Laguna Woods and Villa Park are now amount the cities with the oldest population in our country. Roughly 14% of the population is over the age of 65, and that number is expected to continue rising over the next 20 years.
The Priorities of Seniors in Orange County
As the population in Orange County continues to get older, communities are seeing a shift in priorities and primary areas of concern. Among the top concerns the elderly population in this area faces are diet, physical and mental health issues, financial abuse and housing. Essentially, there is a significant need for more resources for seniors in this area, as well as for easier access to the resources that are available to the aging community. Communication and coordination are both key, as is ensuring that seniors are wrapped with the support that they need to access resources and understand all that their communities offer.
Many seniors in Orange County are characterized as “food insecure”. While income plays a part in this number, in 2017, 27% of seniors dined on fast food twice a week or more. In some cases, this may be related to physical disabilities or cognitive decline. Meal delivery services, support from a family caregiver or professional in home care are some ways families have found effective to help combat this problem and ensure nutritional needs are met.
The Impacts of Alzheimer’s Disease
One of the other prominent concerns that seniors face in Orange County is Alzheimer’s disease. This is the sixth-leading cause of death for seniors across the country and the third-leading cause of death for seniors in Orange County, who were diagnosed at a rate of 12%. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease makes it more difficult for many seniors to age in place, and it can also impact their long term medical care needs. Cognitive decline impacts a person’s ability to remember to take important medications and properly manage their health and well being.
While the number of seniors is increasing in the area, other age groups are seeing a decline. This fact impacts seniors because it might mean that fewer aging adults have younger family caregivers available to offer support. As a result, more may be dependent on professional homecare, home health and hospice care agencies like Salus Homecare of Orange County.
The creators of this report recommend that families begin having conversations early about aging in place and planning for the future. Salus Homecare of Orange County agrees that these conversations are important and wants to help seniors to better understand the resources available in our community. If we can help, contact us anytime.