Is San Diego Ready for an Aging Population? New Local Survey Reveals San
Diego-Area Residents Concerned about Their City and Themselves as They Get
Old; New Website, “By the Decades” Healthy Aging Checklist and Aging
Communities Toolkit Offers Help
Pfizer and Generations United challenge people and communities to define how
they want to Get Old
NEW YORK -- July 11, 2013
More than eight out of ten people who live in the San Diego area believe they
will live a long life but less than one-third of San Diego-area residents feel
their community is very prepared to support an aging population. And while
more than two-thirds of San Diego area residents think the quality of life for
seniors is better now than in the past, there is an overall feeling of
unpreparedness around San Diego-area infrastructure, according to a new survey
commissioned by Pfizer, Inc. and Generations United, an intergenerational
advocacy organization. The general feeling of lack of preparedness is seen
across all generations - from Millennials to the Greatest Generation . With
more than 10,000 people expected to turn 65 every day through 2030, community
concerns reflected in the survey centered on inadequate transportation,
housing and caregiving for older people. Only a small portion of respondents
feel their communities are very equipped in terms of healthcare facilities,
home caregiving, transportation, and housing for older people.
Aging well means living in a community prepared to support people as they age.
But 54 percent of respondents feel San Diego is not at all prepared to provide
appropriate employment opportunities for an aging population and fully half of
respondents feel being old is something to fear. On a more positive note, 65
percent of survey respondents believe that people who work past retirement age
stay healthier longer and are happier.
“While we’ve seen many improvements in our society for aging populations in
recent years, there are still many hurdles that need to be overcome,” says Dr.
Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer. “The good news is that
there is a lot we can do to protect and enhance our quality of life as we age,
simply by committing today to healthy behaviors that help prevent or delay
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and according
to the World Health Organization, eliminating three risk factors – poor diet,
inactivity and smoking – would prevent 80% of heart disease and stroke, 80% of
type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancers. Indicating an awareness of the importance
of healthy choices, the survey revealed that 63 percent of San Diego-area
residents are very comfortable with their current physical health and 74% are
generally comfortable with their current age. However, only slightly more than
half are also very comfortable about their future and less than half (49%) are
very comfortable with getting older in general. Interestingly, more San
Diego-area residents feel comfortable telling people their age (79%) than
talking about politics (46%) or religion (62%).
To encourage more people to take a more active role in their health at every
age, Pfizer is working with Generations United and others to ask San Diego to
consider: how do you want to Get Old? Get Old is an initiative created by
Pfizer to encourage productive conversation and actions around aging and
living better. San Diego-area residents can visit a new Pfizer-sponsored
website at www.GetOld.com to join the conversation and to find information
about healthy aging. Pfizer has also developed a Healthy Aging Checklist,
organized by the decade, that provides simple health tips on everything from
skin care to preventive care to men and women from their 20’s to their 60’s.
Grantmakers In Aging has also created a series of toolkits, with the support
of the Pfizer Foundation, that can be accessed here: Age-Friendly Communities:
The movement to create great places to grow up and grow old in America; Aging
Power Tools and Age-Friendly America for communities which want to develop
strategies to ensure their citizens have the transportation, housing, health
care and employment opportunities needed to Get Old in their own community.
“Our communities should be places where we can grow up and grow old and where,
no matter what our age, we feel connected and engaged,” says Donna Butts,
Executive Director of Generations United, an advocacy organization focused on
improving the lives of children, youth and older people through
intergenerational strategies, programs and public policies. “Good communities,
like lives well lived, don’t just happen. They require careful planning and
nurturing. Let’s start thinking ahead to what San Diego needs to do to prepare
for a healthy, older America.”
“The survey shows we have some work to do educating San Diegans about the many
fine resources that are available in our community for seniors,” said Paul
Downey, President/CEO of Senior Community Centers. “But it should also be
taken as a wake-up call that we must be diligent about building a strong
infrastructure to support the growing demands of an aging population. It is
also a lesson for each of us, no matter our age, that we have both the
opportunity and responsibility to do things that will keep us healthy,
independent and able to fully enjoy our lives.”
Other Key survey findings
*70% of respondents in the San Diego area agree their workplace values
diversity of age but their top work related fear is not being able to get
a new job (63%) followed closely by not being able to retire when planned
*Only 22% of respondents feel the community is very prepared to provide
appropriate healthcare facilities for older people and just 16% feel the
community is very prepared to provide home caregiving.
*Only 16% feel the San Diego area is very prepared with transportation
options for older people and just 15% see San Diego as very prepared to
provide housing for this population.
*56% of San Diego-area respondents feel U.S. politicians portray older
generations in a positive way and more than half (53%) feel the media
*A huge majority (94%) agree that technology allows you to stay connected
with the people in your life but that it’s a lot of work to keep up with
The 2013 Get Old survey was fielded by Harris Interactive and included 300
respondents in the San Diego area, ages 18-plus. The survey was conducted
between March 25 and April 12, 2013.
About Pfizer, Inc.
Pfizer employs 707 people at its La Jolla site. At Pfizer, we apply science
and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and
significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality,
safety and value the discovery, development and manufacture of health care
products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many
of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work
across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention,
treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time.
Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative
biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers,
governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable,
affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has
worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more, please
visit us at www.pfizer.com.
Pfizer Media Contact:
MacKay Jimeson, 212-733-2324
Lucila Garcia, 323-646-2150
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