By Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to approve a proposal authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and co-authored by Sheila Kuehl to explore creating a new Los Angeles County department focused solely on serving the county’s older adult population.
“Right now – older adults are served in some way or another by most if not all of our County departments,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “All of these efforts are important but they are fragmented and there’s no coordination. We can and we must do better for our growing population of older adults—a population I am proud to belong to!”
Los Angeles County’s population of older adults (60+) is skyrocketing. The County is already home to a quarter of the State’s older adult population and is expected to hit 3.6 million by 2030.
Currently in Los Angeles County, there is no one department tasked solely with caring for older adults and instead, older adults receive services from most if not every County department. This fragmented approach makes the development of an overarching vision or strategy impossible and makes it harder for older adults to access all of the diverse services they need.
“Not only would a County Department dedicated to Older Adults allow us to coordinate our work, it would also give us the ability to be proactive rather than reactive in addressing this populations’ needs,” continued Supervisor Hahn. “I want LA County to be a place where if you have to grow old, you’ll want to grow old in LA County.”
The motion passed asks for the County’s Chief Executive Officer to report back to the Board in nine months after studying the feasibility of creating a standalone department as well as determining what programs and services for older adults currently being performed by the County could be consolidated in this single department. The motion also proposes working with the City of Los Angeles City Department of Aging to determine whether Los Angeles’ two Area Agencies on Aging could be incorporated in the proposed County Department. Laura Trejo, who testified at the Board meeting on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, expressed Mayor Garcetti’s support of the proposal.