It is estimated that by next year more than 104,000 Multnomah County residents will be 60 years and older and that by 2030 almost 25 percent of the county’s population will be 60 years and older.
The aging of the baby boom generation is driving a large demographic shift that has huge consequences for Multnomah County and for all of our communities. To address this shift, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution on February 15, 2007 to create a Task Force on Vital Aging in order to: “assess and identify new opportunities, best practices, barriers and recommendations for enhancing the independence, engagement, and contributions of older adults in Multnomah County and our region.”
The taskforce issued a report in March, 2008, leading to the development of new policies and programs at Multnomah County and in our community.
- On June 20, 2008, the Vital Aging Network (“VAN”) was approved as a new County Employee Network Group. This is a group of over 160 current and retired County employees interested in employment and life issues affecting older County employees and retirees.
- The county now allows telecommuting,encouraging flexible work schedules, which is important to older workers.
- Aging and Disability Services (ADS) developed a web based Healthy Aging Resource Directory that provides access to articles, information and resources on healthy aging.
Future County Plans
- County Human Services is actively exploring ways to engage older adults in the SUN schools program.
- Work is underway to create a database of retired County employees who are interested in temporary, on-call, part-time, full-time, or project based work.
- Oregon Community Foundation created an older adult program with Atlantic Philanthropies for the purpose of using older adults in early childhood settings.
- Hands On Greater Portland initiated an outreach program to place older adults in nonprofit settings.
- Life by Design Northwest expanded its web site that offers resources for employment, volunteering, life planning and other opportunities for civic engagement. It also has information on how to best engage older adults in nonprofit settings.
- Portland Community College has been awarded an Encore Career national grant to help older adults returning to college.