How would you like to help enhance the livability of the Coastside for older adult residents of our area? San Mateo County, with the support of Board of Supervisors President David Canepa and his colleagues, have started a countywide effort to encourage local cities to launch “Age Friendly Community Initiatives” that take a look at ways to increase the “livability” of their community for older adult residents. This invariably results in enhancing livability for people of all ages. Over the last two years, Pacifica, Daly City, Colma, Redwood City, San Mateo, Foster City and Burlingame have launched similar initiatives, joining over 1,000 communities throughout the United States.

I’m writing on behalf of Senior Coastsiders Executive Director Sandra Winter and Half Moon Bay Administrative Services Director Lisa Lopez-Rossi to invite you to be part of the process.

Local governments have recently put together an “Age Friendly Community Task Force” composed of local elected leaders and residents who are interested in the well-being of the growing number of our neighbors who have reached the age of 55 or have already zoomed past that age. The Task Force seeks input from residents between the ages of 55 and 100-plus who would like to participate in a focus group discussion during the month of October/early November.

During a focus group, which would be via Zoom, participants will be invited to share what they think are the unmet needs as well as potential opportunities relevant to the older adult residents of the Coastside region. Virtual focus groups have been scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon each Wednesday during the month of October. Each discussion will be no longer than an hour and a half.

For volunteer participants who prefer a focus group in the early evening, we have scheduled focus group discussions during the last week of October that will begin at 6:30 p.m. For those who don’t like Zoom, we can arrange one-on-one phone appointments as an option. For those who primarily speak a language other than English, we can arrange to have an interpreter available.

The question to be discussed in these focus groups is very straightforward: “What do you think are the unmet needs of older adult residents of Half Moon Bay-Coastside as it pertains to each of the following eight areas?” They include outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, and finally community support/health services.

If you would like to be a participant in one of our focus group discussions about this important topic or have a question, please send an email to Roy Earnest, associate director, Center for Age Friendly Excellence at rearnest@cfafe.org and cc: Lisa Lopez Rossi, administrative services director, City of Half Moon Bay at: llopez@hmbcity.com. Roy will get back to you with additional information and schedule you for one of these focus group discussions.

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