The San Diego Foundation offered grants to local cities that are planning to expand or establish programs to aid seniors. Courtesy photo, Jewish Family Service

The San Diego Foundation Thursday announced $229,850 in grants for municipalities to launch programs that improve the quality of life for older San Diegans.

The foundation has pledged to support the adoption of “age-friendly” action plans by agencies throughout the region.

The Age-Friendly Communities Program at the foundation previously facilitated the efforts of the County of San Diego and five municipalities – Carlsbad, Chula Vista, La Mesa, National City and San Diego – by providing technical assistance and support.

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the population of San Diegans 65 and over is expected to double between 2000 and 2030.

The grant announcement came a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom released a Master Plan for Aging, which outlines a 10-year blueprint for leaders. The goal – to build an equitable California with the opportunity to age with dignity and independence.

“By implementing policies and programs that address these shifting demographics, we can better utilize the talents and energy of our older adults and build thriving communities for all San Diegans,” said Katie Rast, director of community impact at the foundation.

The grantmakers seek to link experts on aging, community advocates and local governments, including the County of San Diego’s Aging and Independence Services.

Under the program, the partners will focus on transportation, housing, outdoor spaces and buildings, community support and health services, respect and social inclusion, communication and information, civic participation and employment.

The grant recipients are:

– Carlsbad, where the $50,000 grant will support the Move Carlsbad program. It’s intended to increase personal mobility, independence and socialization opportunities for adults 65 and over. The city will provide education on app-based ride share transportation and partner with a provider to offer transportation vouchers.

– Chula Vista, whose $49,850 grant will fund the Age-Friendly Communities Program to address social isolation, technology barriers and connections to resources. This program will utilize telephone service to provide information, automated check-ins and social networking.

– National City, where a $50,000 grant will help support Senior Saturdays at Kimball Park. The event’s goal is to improve the lives of residents by building communities where they can stay connected.

– San Diego, where the $50,000 grant will help support the Connecting and Engaging program on behalf of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. The program will provide and promote opportunities and education for older adults on the use of technology in order to access social, fitness, cultural, and other virtual opportunities.

– La Mesa, where the La Mesa Park and Recreation Foundation’s $30,000 grant will be used to create the first public community garden in La Mesa, especially for adults over 50.

– City News Service

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