Governor Gavin Newsom’s proclamation of May 2023 as “Older Californians Month” is a testament to the invaluable contributions of older adults to California’s past, present, and future. This proclamation recognizes the tremendous impact that seniors have on our communities and the vital role they play in shaping our society. For the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation and the seniors we serve throughout San Diego County, this proclamation means a great deal, as it highlights the importance of supporting and uplifting older adults.
With a rapidly aging population in California, it is crucial to celebrate and honor the contributions of older Californians. According to the proclamation, California is home to more than nine million residents aged 60 or older, and by the end of the decade, 11 million Californians will be age 60 or older. These individuals are enriching our families, communities, and economy through diverse life experiences, cultures, and contributions. The proclamation acknowledges that older Californians are active in volunteerism, employment, mentoring, and social clubs, and continue to forge new relationships and connections with family, friends, and community members.
For the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation, this proclamation is particularly meaningful. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting San Diego seniors, the foundation is committed to ensuring that older adults in the community have access to the resources they need to age with dignity and independence. Through its various programs and initiatives, the foundation has been working to address some of the most pressing challenges facing seniors in the community, such as senior isolation, senior homelessness prevention, caregiving hardships, senior center innovation, and supporting agencies with outstanding senior programs.
The proclamation aligns with the foundation’s mission to create a more inclusive and supportive community for seniors in San Diego County. It recognizes the valuable contributions that seniors make to our community and the need to ensure that they are not left behind as we continue to evolve and grow. By shining a light on the needs of older adults, this proclamation helps to raise awareness and generate support for programs and initiatives that benefit seniors throughout the state.
In conclusion, Governor Newsom’s proclamation of May 2023 as “Older Californians Month” is a vital recognition of the essential role that seniors play in our society. It highlights the need to support and uplift older adults, particularly as our population ages. For the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation and seniors throughout San Diego County, this proclamation is a significant step forward in creating a more inclusive and supportive community for seniors. As we celebrate Older Americans Month, let us recommit ourselves to building a vibrant, equitable future for Californians of all ages and abilities.
Currently less than 3% of all private philanthropic dollars in the United States go to senior programs and causes. We aim to change that, by informing, inspiring and engaging the donor community on senior issues in San Diego. Our goal is to provide current and long-term resources to organizations that improve the lives of local seniors, and to create a permanent endowment that will benefit seniors for generations to come. We believe that many members of our community are unaware of the opportunities to support the burgeoning population of older adults in our region and it’s proclamations and actions by philanthropy and government like these that can ensure all seniors in San Diego have a place to turn to and trust.
On this 60th anniversary of Older Americans Month, I ask all Californians to join me and our local, state, and federal partners in recognizing the invaluable contributions of millions of older adults to our past, present and future. Our state is home to more than nine million residents aged 60 or older, and we are committed to building an inclusive California for all across the lifespan.
This year’s theme – Aging Unbound – lifts up the wide-ranging opportunities and experiences that Californians of all races, ethnicities, cultures, genders, and sexual orientations enjoy from age 60 to well over age 100. Californians are aging and embracing change by trying new activities to stay engaged in the community. Leveraging the knowledge, insight and confidence that age affords, older Californians are active in volunteerism, employment, mentoring and social clubs. In this way, they continue to forge new relationships and connections with family, friends and community members.
Older Californians enrich our families, communities, and economy through diverse life experiences, cultures, and contributions. Californians enjoy the fourth highest life expectancy in the United States, contributing to more people who reach the century mark than ever before. Today’s five-year-olds have a better chance than ever of living to 100. By the end of the decade, 11 million Californians will be age 60 or older, and over one million will be 85 or older.
California is out in front of these national demographic shifts, continuing to deliver results in year three of the state’s 10-year Master Plan for Aging. Building on the groundbreaking work of the previous two years, the Administration is driving 95 new initiatives designed to advance equity, housing, transportation, health care, caregiving, affordability and more. California’s work has inspired others to follow our lead, with more than a dozen states joining the Master Plan for Aging movement in 2022 and new proposed federal legislation for a national master plan.
I’m proud of the bold investments that my Administration, in partnership with the Legislature and community stakeholders, has made to advance these priorities, including expansion of Medi-Cal coverage to people age 50+ regardless of immigration status, elimination of the Medi-Cal asset test to protect lifesavings and homes, expansion of the number of community housing options for older adults and people with disabilities, and unprecedented investments to support training and stipends for direct care workers and family caregivers. These investments, guided by the Master Plan for Aging, are building a California for all ages and abilities.
As we take time this month to honor older Californians who have contributed decades of knowledge, skills, and wisdom to make the Golden State what it is today, let us recommit ourselves to building a vibrant, equitable future for Californians of all ages and abilities.
NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim May 2023, as “Older Californians Month.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 30th day of April 2023.
GAVIN NEWSOMGovernor of California
ATTEST:SHIRLEY N. WEBER, Ph.D. Secretary of State