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Keeping it Real: Former Assemblymember Cheryl Brown Advocates for Aging Population

BLACK VOICE NEWS — Anyone who has cared for an elderly loved one understands the challenges that lie ahead for these individuals, their families and community. The challenges are many and varied. They include everything from making ends meet on a fixed income while the cost of living continues to increase year over year, the healthcare frailties that come with aging especially for those minority and low income communities that suffer from comorbidities at higher rates than their white and more economically secure peers,  housing, the need for in home support, transportation, and suicide rates that increase with age. 

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Former Assemblymember Cheryl Brown was appointed to the California Commission on Aging(CCoA) in 2017 and in November was reelected to a second term as the organization’s chair. Credit: Chris Allen, BVN

By S.E. Williams

Every day in America about 10,000 people turn 65 years of age and experts project that by the year 2035  those 65 and older will outnumber  those under the age of 18 for the first time in the nation’s history.

In California the number of residents  60 years and older is projected to triple  in the coming years–those numbers, however, vary widely by region with the Inland Empire outpacing much of the state.

According to the California Department of Aging between the years 2010 and 2060 the number of seniors in Riverside County is expected to increase by more than 248%, while San Bernardino’s population over the age of 60 years is projected to grow by more than 202%.

By 2060 the number of seniors in Riverside County is expected to increase by more than 248%, while San Bernardino’s population over the age of 60 years is projected to grow by more than 202%. (aging.ca.gov)

Anyone who has cared for an elderly loved one understands the challenges that lie ahead for these individuals, their families and community. The challenges are many and varied. They include everything from making ends meet on a fixed income while the cost of living continues to increase year over year, the healthcare frailties that come with aging especially for those minority and low income communities that suffer from comorbidities at higher rates than their white and more economically secure peers,  housing, the need for in home support, transportation, and suicide rates that increase with age.

As individuals and as a community the need for resources and support will continue to expand as the aging population grows. It is for these and a plethora of other reasons related to this issue that the inland region is fortunate to have a strong advocate working and advocating at the state level who understands this issue and is a strong voice for the region’s aging population.

Former Assemblymember Cheryl Brown was appointed to the California Commission on Aging(CCoA)  in 2017 and in November was reelected to a second term as the organization’s chair.

“There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

Rosalynn Carter

Brown leverages her experience and compassion as a family caregiver coupled with her leadership and legislative acumen to help guide the efforts of the  organization.

Her major accomplishments with CCoA include her role as a founding member of  the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the California Master Plan on Aging (MPA).

This plan prioritizes the health and well-being of older Californians and people with disabilities. But it is more than a plan. It is a “blueprint” for state and local governments in addition to the private sector and philanthropic organizations to prepare the state and local communities for the growing demographic changes and to help ensure equity remains at the forefront.

With the inland region expected to be home to so many of the state’s aging population, having a fierce advocate in our midst will help ensure the concerns of this community on this issue has an important seat at the table.

Of course this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.

The post Keeping it Real: Former Assemblymember Cheryl Brown Advocates for Aging Population appeared first on Black Voice News.

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