Skip to main content

ConnectOC Aging of Orange County 2014Older adults today are more visible, active and independent than any generation before. From grandmas taking up paddle boarding to titans dominating business headlines, today’s older adults are living longer, are in better shape and are embracing life with gusto, not a gold retirement watch. These are the seniors we see. The ones who fit the model of the Orange County dream.

But beyond the charisma of Orange County’s youth-oriented culture lies a hidden population of older adults we don’t often see: hungry, homeless, neglected and living precariously without a safety net. They might be your neighbor, the checker at your local grocery store or a friendly face at your place of worship. Or you might never meet them at all. There are 28,000 seniors residing in long-term care facilities across Orange County. Shockingly, nearly half of them do not have a single friend or family member actively involved in their care, according to the Council on Aging – Orange County. We suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg, with many more seniors in need hidden among our community, struggling to manage alone.

This special report is intended to bring this invisible population into focus and spark the difficult conversations we must have about the aging of our community. Yes, it’s about dignity for the generations that created Orange County’s past. But it’s also about our future.