Introducing Our Newest Program - Age Advantage

Age Advantage is a special interest group that will focus on issues and policies relating to an age-friendly San Jose. Inspired by a conversation with a small group of leadership san jose, facilitated by Dr. John Feather, Chief Executive Officer at Grantmakers in Aging, around the subject of an aging citizenry, Age Advantage will function as a hybrid advocacy and direct program provider by promoting other agencies' local programs and opportunities to learn more about Age Friendly San Jose, in addition to offering our own occasional programs that will provide opportunities to engage with issues of aging.

The aforementioned conversation revealed important facts around our aging population: in 2017, ‘seniors’ (defined here as 60+) make up 15% of our county’s population; by 2030, that proportion will double to 30%.

That’s a lot of people lining up for the 4:30 matinee.

This shifting demographic is going to have significant, in many ways positive, impact on all aspects of our economy.

  1. Seniors continue to pay taxes, but place less demand on public education, police services, jails and roads
  2. Seniors spend money: on movies, theater, restaurants, fitness clubs, lectures, travel and more
  3. Seniors generate new industry niches: Lyft, for example, is capitalizing on this new population, both as passengers and drivers.
  4. Seniors generate new product and service needs, from new technologies to enhance brain health and  person-centric health care to self driving cars, drones and task robots. Entire incubators are being designed to foster growth in this area (check out www.Aging2.0.com as an example).
  5. Seniors often scale down, increasing demand for small, often higher density housing and desire amenities that are within walking distance
  6. Seniors are positioned to promote an agenda for universal design: housing, transportation, roads and sidewalks,  and businesses that are designed to be accessible for seniors are by definition more inclusive of the entire population including people with disabilities and children.

On the other hand, seniors who are not financially secure place a demand on social services: they may need subsidized housing, supplemental nutrition and health care, modified transportation and day centers. How a community cares for its seniors says much about its ethical nature.

San Jose was designated by the World Health Organization as an ‘Age-Friendly City’ and the County of Santa Clara is working toward all 15 cities in the county earning this designation by the coming summer. The public sector is thinking about and planning for the growing tide of seniors, but is the business sector yet focused on this shift?

How will businesses be impacted and what new practices might be put into place? This is an area that this group will work towards solving. Join us.

For more information or to engage in creating an action plan around Age Advantage, please contact Susan Ellenberg at susane@thesvo.com.