Collaborating Across Sectors to Build an Age-Friendly County

In June 2014 the Board of Supervisors added a directive to Alameda County’s 2014/15 Budget that required Social Services and Health Care Services Agencies to earmark emergency funding for senior services and to work collaboratively with the community to develop an integrated plan to address the needs of a growing older population. Click here to read the historic memo. 

Now a direct outcome of that directive, the Alameda County Council for Age-Friendly Communities is coordinating the efforts of public agencies and community partners to advance policy and systems changes that will improve health and life outcomes for older adults.

SSC must advance policy and a culture of collaboration that establishes community-based services as key partners with healthcare, empowers collaborative and coordinated solutions, and leverages existing and new resources for better outcomes.



October 1, 2020 – The Alameda County Council for Age Friendly Communities has just released a series of Issue Briefs, providing deep dives into issues that are impacting older people. So far the series cover Social Isolation, Suicide Prevention, Housing, with Issue Briefs, Fact Sheets and Talking Points suitable for meetings with policy makers. Click here to go to the landing page.

Because September was National Suicide Awareness Month, and because older adults and people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by these issues and are less likely to receive treatment, we want to highlight the Council’s Issue Brief on Suicide Prevention. Click here for the Issue Brief, with policy recommendations, Fact Sheet and Talking Points.

December 27, 2019 – Alameda County Social Services Agency recently dedicated a Training Coordinator to work in tandem with UCSF and the Age-Friendly Council to advance the Embracing Aging Workforce Training Initiative. The initiative’s purpose is to provide the county’s workforce with the knowledge and skills to address the unique needs of older adults in the many care and service delivery settings where older people are encountered.

The goal is to integrate baseline competency about aging into the County in a systematic way through a training series for County staff, cities, CBOs, and other key partners. Trainings will define the key concepts people need to know, such as basics of geriatrics, the role of stigma, and other topics that are relevant to a given setting.

Why is this important? Alameda County’s population is aging. In just 15 years over 20% of the population will be 65+. Encountering individuals who are older, and who may have unique needs associated with age, is becoming more and more common across all sectors of business and public systems. Basic competency in working with older adults is a growing necessity; and for the primary care and social services workforce, deeper geriatric knowledge and skills are increasingly required.

October 18, 2019 – The County Administrator’s Homelessness Council recently approved the a set of Recommendations that the Age-Friendly Council elevated to address the unique needs of older adults in the housing crisis. In summary, the recommendations are:

  • Implement protections for older adult renters and homeowners, including a just cause eviction ordinance for Unincorporated Areas, and a program to waive property tax penalties for older homeowners.
  • Engage older adult subject matter experts using AC3 funding to advise in the development of new facilities and services outlined in the County’s Homelessness Action Plan.
  • Advance shelter and temporary housing accessibility improvements and accommodations to support people who have mobility, cognitive and other challenges.
  • Establish a Rapid Response Case Management capacity county-wide.

The Age-Friendly Council is working with key partners to develop and implement each of the recommendations.

June 19, 2019 – On June 4, 2019, after years of efforts by dedicated advocates, Alameda County became part of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Supervisor Nate Miley led the ceremony and declared: “if it’s good for seniors, it’s good for everybody.”

Alameda County joins 318 communities across the United States that are actively working to meet the needs of older adults. The county is continuing to expand its initiatives to improve access to information, health care & outdoor space, availability of housing & transportation, civic participation opportunities, and much more.

It’s an exciting time for organizations that provide support for seniors. We are all aging together and programs that improve life for older adults have far-reaching benefits for the whole community. Click here to download a copy of the County’s Resolution.