A draft of the Ventura County Master Plan for Aging is now available for the public to review and the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA) is seeking feedback from the community. The draft of the Plan can be found at www.vcaaa.org.
Older adults now make up more than 23 percent of Ventura County’s population, with the number projected to increase to 30 percent over the next decade. In 2019, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order (N-14-19) calling for the creation of a Master Plan for Aging, which is a blueprint for state government, local government, the private sector, and philanthropy to prepare the State for the coming demographic changes.
The County of Ventura convened a panel of stakeholders in October 2019 to start the process of talking about the reality and the challenges of growing older in Ventura County and what is needed to make the county more livable. The State issued their Master Plan for Aging in January 2021, and the County of Ventura has drafted a more localized Plan.
“The County of Ventura is committed to evolving to navigate the unique needs of older adults and people with disabilities in our community,” the Plan states. “While the focus is on aging, there is an equal focus on optimally aging across the lifespan because a Master Plan for Aging is for everyone in the community. Moreover, we also know that older adults and people with disabilities have common issues, though other challenges are unique.”
The Plan continues, “As the Master Plan for Aging was developed, there was also special focus on areas of import to Ventura County. Those focus areas are diversity, equity, and inclusion. The County has always been cognizant of the diversity in our County, racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically and has made continual refinements in how we provide services and connections to resources to ensure we operate through a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion.”
In doing so, the VCAAA is seeking feedback from the community and welcomes comments, feedback, and corrections during the month of October 2021.
“Responses from the community are critical to developing a successful Master Plan for Aging,” said Victoria Jump, Director of the VCAAA. “We want to hear directly from our County’s older adults, people living with disabilities, caregivers, and all those navigating services to optimize aging for themselves and for loved ones. We want this Plan to be reflective of the real-life experiences of those we are serving, and we want the community to have an active role in the final product.”
The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, an agency of the County of Ventura, is the principal agency in Ventura County charged with the responsibility to promote the development and implementation of a comprehensive coordinated system of care that enables older individuals, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities to live in a community-based setting and to advocate for the needs of those 60 years of age and older in the county, providing leadership and promoting citizen involvement in the planning process as well as in the delivery of services.