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For Immediate Release: September 29, 2016
Contact: Jessica Good, Public Information Officer
Media Line: (714) 834-2178

Orange County Healthy Aging Initiative Releases Orange County Older Adult Profile

(Santa Ana, CA)  This week, the Orange County Healthy Aging Initiative (OCHAI) released the Orange County Older Adult Profile, 2016. The report was funded by the Orange County Health Care Agency and highlights key health, social and economic indicators impacting the health and well-being of Orange County older adults.

“This is the first comprehensive look at seniors that the County has led in collaboration with public, private and nonprofit partners who serve this population, in nearly 15 years,” said Dr. Helene Calvet, Deputy County Health Officer and OCHAI Co-Chair. “We hope this report raises awareness in the community of the needs of this growing population, so that we can work together to provide better resources and services to meet their needs.”

Many of the indicators in the report are available on the electronic Orange County Older Adult Dashboard, launched earlier this year. The dashboard provides information on over 70 indicators, including but not limited to: income, health, housing, insurance coverage and nutrition, for older adults in Orange County. As a whole, Orange County’s older adult population appears to be doing well compared to the state and/or nation for many indicators; however, there are some areas of concern included in the key findings below:

Key Findings:

  • Among Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older:
    • More than 25% have diabetes and more than 50% have high blood pressure, and hospitalization rates for both of these conditions are above the state average.
    • More than 10% are treated for depression. Males 85 and older are almost four times more likely to die from suicide than the overall Orange County population.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is now the third leading cause of death among older adults in Orange County, and it is the only cause of death among the top five that has increased over the last 10 years.
  • Among older adult heads of household, 22% of couples and 44% of singles do not have sufficient income for basic necessities as measured by the Elder Economic Security Index.
  • The physician workforce with specific training in geriatrics is less than 25% of the recommended number.
  • There were over 1,500 substantiated reports of elder abuse in 2014, a 56% increase from 2005.

The Orange County Healthy Aging Initiative (OCHAI) was formed in early 2013 by the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Public Health Services division and Center for Successful Aging at Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) and now includes a range of public and private agencies working with older adults in Orange County. The Initiative’s goal is to assist and improve countywide comprehensive strategic planning to address current and future needs of the older adult population.

View the complete Orange County Older Adult Profile, 2016, here.

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