Black woman with gray hair, green glasses and pink lipstick. Artwork including two busts of Black women is behind her.

Needs-Assessment of Older Californians Being Conducted Through End of August

Black woman with gray hair, green glasses and pink lipstick. Artwork including two busts of Black women is behind her.

Richmond resident Marva Reed spoke in a Nov. 29, 2021, Pulse community conversation about how the pandemic was affecting local elders. (Screenshot captured by Danielle Parenteau-Decker / RP file)

By Thomas Hughes
Bay City News

A statewide needs-assessment of Californians older than 55 is being conducted for the first time through the state’s Department of Aging, to gauge residents’ priorities in certain areas of livability and help inform future programs that serve that growing population.

The online assessment became available to all Californians on Aug. 14, after initially being mailed only to a limited number of randomly selected residents, according to Sara Eisenberg, a spokesperson for the California Department of Aging.

The Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults asks residents about needs and satisfaction in six areas, which include community design, employment and finances, equity and inclusivity, health and wellness, information and assistance, and productive activities.

The survey can be accessed in multiple languages through Monday at

Past needs-assessments have been conducted locally, through nonprofit or public agencies that are designated through legislation as Area Agencies on Aging, or AAAs. Those surveys can now be better informed by getting responses from residents statewide, according to Clay Kempf, executive director of the Seniors Council, the AAA for Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.

“We want to see the results from the state needs-assessment and then see if there’s anything in particular we want to focus on or emphasize, and I think that ability will give us much better information in the long run,” Kempf told the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors this month.

The survey also helps California secure its membership in AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, which provides members with information and guidance on building communities that maximize livability for residents of all ages.

>>>Read: Caregivers ‘Work Quietly With Little Recognition.’ AARP Wants to Change That

By 2030, about 10.8 million, or a quarter of all California residents, will be over 60 years old, according to projections from the state.

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