The Aging of Orange County

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The Aging of Orange County

Although only 13 percent of the U.S. population is 65 or older today, the United States Census Bureau projects the number of seniors will more than double by 2060. And locally, that growth will affect us sooner, with the proportion of older adults in Orange County increasing by more than 65 percent over the next 15 years, according to the 2013 Orange County Health Profile.

As our population continues to age, a new set of needs will emerge more noticeably in Orange County. And the truth is that we are not prepared. The anticipated financial strain of this increase on our health and social services will challenge the capacity of health care providers, caregivers and community organizations. As a result, seniors may be in peril when they need us most, and an unprepared community may push our economy to the brink.

Given this rapidly growing demographic, never before has Orange County faced a crisis that cuts across such a large swath of our community.

The Orange County dream could become a distant memory, unless we take action now. We must tackle three key countywide issues — housing and poverty, food security and hunger, and mental health — to give the aging Orange County population the quality of life they deserve or face the possibility that our best years as a county are behind us.

housing and poverty, food security and hunger, and mental health