By James Loyce, Board Chair, Metta Fund
and Jarmin Yeh, Board Member, Metta Fund
California is a state of bounty and beauty. A state with a powerful economy and well-documented riches. A state of diversity and migration. We are trendsetters in politics, innovation, and culture. But we are also a state that is rapidly changing. Californians are getting older. For the first time in history, older Californians will outnumber young children.
In fact, older Californians are the fastest growing demographic group. Our state’s older adult population is expected to nearly double to 8.6 million in the next decade.
Yet, we are woefully underprepared for this demographic shift. Our systems, services, and infrastructure—be it housing, transportation, or healthcare—are fragmented and underresourced. Our formidable state is facing a crisis.
We are all heirs to everything that California has to offer. Because of this, we must recognize the need to develop a steadfast plan to meet the needs of our state’s aging population.
At Metta Fund, we are inspired and motivated by the critical work being done by our partners in the field to set forth the creation of a “Master Plan For Aging.” In June, Governor Newsom signed an executive order calling for its development by October 2020, and this month, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly made important appointments to the Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee.
We applaud this timely effort and call on all of us to continue to advocate for a sustainable infrastructure and policies– capable of supporting us as we age– while maintaining the quality of life California has long been known for.
The Master Plan For Aging is not just a crucial step towards readiness, it is our moral duty. Californians—and that means all of us—deserve an equitable and fair future.