Seminole County Task Force on Aging Report
A Communities for a Lifetime Project
Creating communities that offer a high quality of life throughout the age spectrum is important to the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners. That’s why, on September 25, they adopted the recommendations of their Task Force on Aging, including establishing a permanent Commission on Aging. When appointed, the group will advise the Board on elder issues and serve as a focal point for information and services affecting residents age 50+.
A year ago the Board adopted the Communities for a Lifetime resolution, enjoining Seminole County with over 130 other localities around Florida in declaring their intention to create livable communities for people of all ages. The Task Force on Aging they created spent eight months conducting a community assessment to identify the needs and opportunities for seniors in the county. Transportation, housing, health care, and social engagement are among the topics they explored. Their findings will form the work plan for the future Commission on Aging.
Dr. Doug Beach, former CEO, and Laura Capp co-chaired the Task Force comprised of senior citizens and professionals who work with them. When Dr. Beach was tapped to become Florida’s Secretary of Elder Affairs in February, Ms. Capp assumed the leadership role on the Task Force. “The majority of Seminole County’s older adults are healthy, mobile, and financially stable,” said Ms. Capp “We must find ways to harness seniors’ energy, talents, purchasing power, and influence, so they’ll choose to remain here and help shape a vibrant community.”
Just over 10 percent of the county’s population, about 40,000 people, are age 65 and older. By the year 2020 that number is projected to increase to 15 percent of the population and to nearly 20 percent by the year 2030. Areas of current need include the estimated 6000 county residents with probable Alzheimer’s disease and over 400 low-income seniors on a waiting list to receive home-delivered meals.
Funding shortages and a lack of volunteers contribute to the unmet needs. “Addressing the issues of aging can not be solved with money alone,” remarked Ms. Capp. “It requires doing what we would do anyway—replacing traffic signs or building residential homes—with an awareness of and forethought to how it will impact citizens of all ages.”