The Age-Friendly Imperial Beach Action Plan is here!
The City of Imperial Beach launched its Age-Friendly Community project in November of 2022 through AARP's Livable Communities Initiative, with support from the San Diego Foundation Age-Friendly Communities Program. This initiative is an affiliate of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Network of the Age-Friendly States and Communities, an international effort launched in 2006 to help cities prepare for the growing population of older adults. AARP's Network of Age-Friendly Communities targets improved Domains of Livability that influence older adults' health and quality of life. Over the last year, the Age-Friendly Project Team along with our consulting team from the San Diego State University Social Policy Institute conducted reviews of current public policies, took surveys, held outreach events, met with the city in community forums, all of which resulted in the preparation of an Action Plan to make Imperial Beach a more livable community for all ages. On November 15, 2023, the Imperial Beach City Council approved the Age-Friendly Imperial Beach 2023 Action Plan.
Steps taken to prepare the Age-Friendly Action Plan:
We conducted a Policy Scan
We reviewed all the existing City Plans and the impacts they have on the domains of livability to engage and build upon....
We did a Community Survey
We issued a survey to ask about your priorities for helping Imperial Beach residents to age well and in place. The survey was available from December 17, 2022 to January 29, 2023. A total of 245 surveys were completed and 158 met the criteria to be analyzed from residents 50 and older. The survey questions focused on various topics such as, Outdoor Spaces and Public Places, Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Respect, and Social Inclusion, Work and Civic Engagement, Communications and Information and Community and Health Services.
We held Listening Sessions
A total of four Age-Friendly Imperial Beach Listening Sessions were held throughout February and March 2023. These sessions were a direct follow-up to the Age-Friendly Imperial Beach Community Survey and were designed to allow for direct feedback from stakeholders on the most significant challenges facing them in their community. Over these four sessions, there were 67 total attendees. Sessions were held at Oneonta Elementary School, Fleet Reserve Association, Imperial Beach Library, and Bayside Elementary School.
We held Action Planning Sessions
To reaffirm that the Age-Friendly Imperial Beach project team accurately “heard” the community to the fullest extent, community members were invited to provide feedback on the Acon Plan recommendations. Community members were able to suggest additional action plan steps, as well as reaffirm those previously indicated. A total of 49 residents attended the sessions, with four sessions hosted in various locations. To gain as representative a sample as possible given the scope of the project, oversampling was conducted. This included one group conducted in Spanish with eight in attendance.
Overview of Age-Friendly Imperial Beach:
Our Goal for the Age-Friendly Imperial Beach Community
Our goal is to improve the quality of life for every resident as demographics change. People of all ages will benefit from the adoption of policies and programs such as making neighborhoods walkable, feature transportation options, enable access to key services, provide opportunities to participate in community activities, and very importantly to support housing that is affordable and adaptable. Age-Friendly Imperial Beach looks at equity and aims to work to eliminate disparities to fairly serve all residents, especially older adults. The City of Imperial Beach is committed to providing meaningful and relevant services to residents of all ages specifically to older residents with a vision to keep them active and healthy while residing in this city.
Why is this work important?
Around the globe, populations are aging. The United Nations has declared 2021-2030 the Decade of Healthy Aging, and the WHO has called for communities around the world to become more “age friendly” in order to meet the growing needs of older adults. Here in the U.S., 1 in 4 people is projected to be over age 60 by the year 2050 and starting in 2034, the number of older people is expected to outnumber children in our country. As people live longer, many will experience disabilities. Communities must prepare to address the health, economic, and social needs of an aging population.
What is an "age-friendly" city?
An age-friendly city is a community in which people can grow up and grow old with ease. The World Health Organization (WHO) determined specific environmental, economic, and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults. These are sometimes called the "8 Domains" of livability. Imperial Beach took these 8 Domains and customized them to better fit their unique community and keep the small beachside nature of the town first and foremost. Below are the 6 Domains that the community helped to create for its Action Plan.
- Transportation: Community mobility is essential to optimal aging. Age-Friendly Imperial Beach supports safe, reliable, and easy-to-use travel options—including accessible and affordable public transit, rideshare, walking, and biking—to get people of all ages where they need to go.
- Housing: Older adults want to age in place—stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible—and benefit from living in affordable, age-friendly housing. Age-Friendly Imperial Beach supports diverse housing options that allow older adults of all incomes to live in clean, safe, comfortable, and well-maintained housing that meets their access needs.
- Outdoor Spaces & Buildings: People need public places to gather—indoors and out. Age-Friendly Imperial Beach supports parks and other green spaces, safe streets, sidewalks, outdoor seating, and accessible buildings that are universally designed and can be used and enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
- Volunteerism, Military, & Civic Engagement: Everyone deserves to feel valued. Age-Friendly Imperial Beach celebrates and draws upon the wisdom and experience of older adults, encourages intergenerational and multicultural understanding, works to eliminate ageism, and prioritizes the language access needs of Imperial Beach's diverse aging population.
- Social, Physical, & Educational Support: Social participation and physical activity are essential for both quality of life and longevity. Age-Friendly Imperial Beach supports learning, fitness, social, cultural, and spiritual activities for older adults as well as intergenerational activities that are accessible, affordable, safe, and fun. Many older adults find value in contributing to their communities volunteering time and talent. Age-Friendly Imperial Beach supports services encourages older adults to share their skills to address community needs.
- Communication & Information: Older adults receive information in a variety of ways, and no one way reaches every person. Age-Friendly Imperial Beach promotes accessible print and digital communications, and community partnerships that increase access to information that older adults need for optimal aging.
The City of Imperial Beach is partnering with AARP California, The San Diego Foundation, and San Diego State University Social Policy Institute, to engage and mobilize community organizations and residents in support of joining the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities to ensure that communities where we live are safe, livable, and better support people of all ages. These valuable Partners will help guide our community through the Age-Friendly Network's assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation process.