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Downtown San Rafael - Andrew Faulkner

Age-Friendly San Rafael

An age-friendly city is one that is inclusive, accessible, and promotes active aging; a city that works for everyone of every age and ability.

The San Rafael Age-Friendly Task Force seeks to work with local government, community groups and individuals to make San Rafael a place where those who live and contribute so much to the community can continue to be a vibrant and essential part of its culture as they age.

With a population of more than 58,000, San Rafael is the largest city and the county seat of Marin, the most rapidly aging county in the state. The City of San Rafael embraces the fact that our community is aging-in-place. Our middle age and older residents have become a larger proportion of the City’s population since 2000. We have more than 6,000 senior households, with more than one-half including residents that are 75 years and older, of which 73 percent are homeowners. As our community population ages, we understand that there is greater need for more supportive services and housing options.

In 2020, we completed the planning phase, assessment and the Age Friendly San Rafael Strategic Action Plan.  Our outreach to the community included conducting ageism training - "Reframing Aging " with the FrameWorks Institute, key informant interviews and a community survey in English and Spanish. On  March 15, 2021, San Rafael City Council formally accepted the Age-Friendly Strategic Plan.

The City of San Rafael is now part of  the Age-Friendly Network and is the largest Age-Friendly city in Marin.

The time is now. Please join us as we make San Rafael a livable, age-friendly community for all generations!

Housing

Existing homes no longer meet the needs of residents or the community. Look for opportunities to streamline costs of retrofitting homes so older adults can stay in their homes safely and comfortably.

Residential facilities have availability but are not affordable. Research cost factors of living in residential facilities.

Employment

Address ageism in the workplace.  Foster intergenerational communication and teams.

Recognize that older adults need to work to afford to live in San Rafael.  Expand viable job opportunities with flexible work schedules, including part time.

Engage in workforce development. Connect with government and non-profit agencies working in the area of employment.

Civic Participation

Older adults may not know that their participation is welcomed in civic organizations. Build on local repository of civic leaders and opportunities for civic engagement.

How does the next generation see civic participation? Explore what civic engagement looks like to the next generation(s).

Expand the existing partnership with the San Rafael library. Advocate for the representation of San Rafael older adults in the program planning process.

Communication

Expand communication specific to the needs of older adults to improve engagement. Communications should be sensitive of different needs, including access to and comfort with technology, language barriers and visual or hearing impairments.

Research ways to expand access to broadband. Build on existing communication channels with government and non-profit partners.

Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

Expand opportunities for older adults to safely participate in outdoor community life. Expand partnership between the San Rafael Department of Public Works & neighborhood associations to support efforts to repair or replace aging infrastructure.

Address perception of safety issues around people experiencing homelessness in our community. Promote partnership with public safety personnel and the downtown business community to address perceptions around safety.

Develop and support intergenerational programming at the City’s community centers and libraries. Encourage and support community center staff to promote best practices and planning around intergenerational and multicultural programming.

Community Preparedness

Vulnerable older adults in San Rafael face barriers and challenges regarding emergency preparedness. Partner with San Rafael Fire/EMS to produce and distribute emergency preparation materials in English and Spanish that reflect the needs of older adults and the disabled community.

Respect and Social Inclusion

Older adults are neglected and depreciated in many settings, causing serious effects on physical, mental, and social well-being. Educate the community about the serious effects on the physical, mental, and social well-being of older adults that result from neglect and lack of appreciation.

Recognize that aging exists, develop expertise and understanding of aging, and reframe perceptions about growing older in San Rafael. Educate community members on facts and myths about aging and develop the most effective communication strategies.

Housing

Research factors that make up the cost of living in residential facilities.

Employment

Research current employment situation for older adults and connect with non-profits and government agencies working on employment.

Civic Participation

Learn about library programs and engage with library management.

Communication

Explore with City staff the priority areas for improving communications, particularly with and to older adults.

Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

Create a collaborative partnership with the City and neighborhood associations to upgrade lighting and repair sidewalks.

Community Preparedness

Partner with San Rafael Fire/EMS to produce and distribute emergency preparedness in English and Spanish that reflect the needs of older adults and the disabled community.

Respect and Social Inclusion

Look for opportunities to educate people who live and work in San Rafael regarding facts and myths related to aging and how best to communicate that information.

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