Davis Enterprise: Candidates address issues facing aging baby boomers

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Baby boomers hitting their senior years are the fastest-growing population in Yolo County, and have been for a while; increasing demand for everything from mental health and respite care to affordable senior housing and accessible transportation.

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of Yolo County residents between the ages of 55 and 64 increased by 74 percent, from 11,613 residents to 20,159 — the biggest increase for any population group in the county and more than twice that of one of the next fastest growing groups — residents between the ages of 65 and 74, which increased 31 percent, according to county data.

By 2050, according to the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance, 22 percent of Yolo County residents will be over the age of 65, up from 10 percent in 2010.

Over the last couple of years, the alliance has focused on four areas where gaps in services have developed locally for seniors — affordable housing, accessible transportation, mental health care and connection to services — and on Saturday eight candidates who hope to represent the county in the state Legislature offered their takes on how to ensure the needs of seniors are met.

Four candidates for Assembly District 4 and four for Senate District 3 attended a forum hosted by the aging alliance at the Davis Senior Center, with several describing personal experiences with aging family members that illustrated some of the issues seniors face.

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