Older Adults
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Cuyahoga County Health, Human Services, and Aging Committee stresses need to support older adults

Jason Kluk-Barany
External Affairs Associate
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April 1, 2024
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Community Solutions recently prepared a report for the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services in which older adults were surveyed on how inflation is impacting their daily lives.

20% of respondents would not be able to pay for a $400 emergency.

One striking finding was that 20% of respondents would not be able to pay for a $400 emergency. Many others would need to rely on credit, borrowing from family or friends, or selling something they own. In addition to financial difficulties, respondents reported emotional and mental tolls from rising costs, struggles when attempting to re-enter the workforce, rationing medication, unreliable transportation, and social isolation amongst other challenges.

During the March 6, 2024, Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services, and Aging (HHSA) Committee meeting, Community Solutions’ President and CEO, Emily Campbell, had the privilege of presenting data on poverty, the status of women, and how older adults in Cuyahoga County are struggling to make ends meet, as reflected in our inflation report.

Advocacy at the state level is vital in ensuring measures are taken to support Cuyahoga County’s aging population now and in the future.

Following Emily’s presentation, Councilwoman and Chair of the HHSA Committee, Yvonne Conwell, emphasized the importance of providing support to Cuyahoga’s older adults, especially due to the fact that by 2030, nearly 30% of Cuyahoga residents will be over 60, compared to 25.8% in 2020. She stated, to consensus, that advocacy at the state level is vital in ensuring measures are taken to support Cuyahoga County’s aging population now and in the future.

Livable Cuyahoga is a 5-year process to address the needs of older adults in the county

Cuyahoga County is taking steps to address the needs of its older adults. One example being Livable Cuyahoga, launched in 2022, which aims to “provide safe, walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life.” Livable Cuyahoga is currently in step three (Planning Phase) of its five-step process that is estimated to take a total of five years.In partnership with Community Solutions, the Livable Cuyahoga Needs Assessment Report was completed in 2023, which will inform the planning and implementation phases. This initiative is a critical step in supporting our aging population and Community Solutions looks forward to following its progress.

Advocates should take note that supporting older adults is a priority of the HHSA Committee, and they are actively seeking to influence state legislation.

As Cuyahoga County’s aging population increases, all levels of government will need to take action toward adequate funding, to provide older adults with the necessary resources and services. Advocates should take note that supporting older adults is a priority of the HHSA Committee, and they are actively seeking to influence state legislation.

How to get involved with the Cuyahoga County Health, Human Services, and Aging Committee

HHSA Committee meetings are open to the public and are streamed live on Cuyahoga County’s YouTube page.Learn more about the HHSA Committee here and check the calendar for the meeting schedule. Committee notices are posted at least 48 hours prior to committee meetings.Meetings are held at the Council Chambers on the 5th floor of the County Headquarters at 2079 E. 9th St. Cleveland, OH 44115. If you choose to attend in person, complimentary parking for the public is available in the attached garage at 900 Prospect. A skywalk extends from the garage to the Council Chambers from the 5th floor parking level of the garage, see the Clerk to obtain a complimentary parking pass.

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