Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion directing the County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), along with other pertinent Departments, to develop a 90-day report back with recommendations on increasing enrollment among older adults and caregivers in East Los Angeles in County programs and services:

“In 2000, older adults comprised 9.7 percent of the County’s population, and by 2030, that is expected to nearly double to 18.2 percent. With a growing older adult population, we must prepare for the future of aging in Los Angeles County. In 2016, LA County and the City of Los Angeles launched the Purposeful Aging Los Angeles (PALA) initiative to build age-friendly communities so all residents could thrive in their homes and neighborhoods.

Many of the more than 12,600 older adults in East Los Angeles need help to live independently. A third of those aged 65 and older live alone and have a physical or cognitive disability. Further, more than 5,000 senior citizens in East LA live below the federal poverty level.

Nearly 90 percent of all senior citizens in East LA speak a language other than English at home. Immigration status may also be a barrier, amid widespread concern that accessing public programs could result in being labeled a ‘public charge,’ or could lead to deportation. Latino older adults, their families, and caregivers often fall through the cracks of mainstream outreach and education because of linguistic and cultural differences.

Now is the time to better understand the needs of our older adults, a growing population that deserves our attention and respect. LA County will hone outreach efforts to enhance service delivery for senior citizens who live in East Los Angeles neighborhoods. I will continue to work to ensure that senior citizens, and their caregivers, can thrive.”

Today’s motion directs WDACS, along with the Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Department of Mental Health, among others, to prepare a report back in 90 days with recommendations on how to address health disparities among Latino older adults in East LA and how to effectively inform immigrant seniors of wraparound services offered by the County and other external partners.

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Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications, rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov or 213-359-0795