Laguna Beach, Calif. features its own city-supported aging-in-place program


The city of Laguna Beach, Calif. recently offered details of its city-sponsored aging-in-place program, dubbed “Lifelong Laguna,” in a profile published by CNBC. It provides new insight into the measures cities can explore to more easily facilitate aging-in-place goals for older residents.

2021 research from AARP indicates that 77% of adults at or over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes as they get older, but the figure in Laguna Beach is much higher. There, the figure is closer to 90% according to Rickie Redman, director of Lifelong Laguna.

Originally piloted in 2017, Lifelong Laguna is a program that enlists a local area nonprofit to encourage support for aging in place.

“Lifelong Laguna is based on the Village movement, where aging in place is encouraged with community support,” the story reads. “The Laguna Beach program aims to fulfill a specific need for a city where approximately 28% of residents are age 65 and over, while local assisted living and memory care services are scarce.”

Much of the city’s older population has lived in Laguna Beach since they were in their 20s and 30s. Now in their 70s and 80s, they simply do not want to be displaced to live somewhere else, even if another area or dedicated facility could more easily attend to their needs as they age.

“They make this city unique,” Redman told CNBC, saying many of the older residents can trace their journey here to the city’s “artistic roots,” the story explained. “They’re the placeholders for the Laguna that we now know.”

The program currently serves about 200 older residents, and there is no direct cost to them for participating. It is entirely funded by grants and local fundraising efforts, according to Redman.

“Its services address a wide range of needs, including a home repair program the city operates in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, nutrition counseling and end-of-life planning,” the story explained.

Other cities and communities have adopted similar systems, as aging-in-place preferences have increased dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Data from Genworth Financial indicates that roughly 70% of the 10,000 baby boomers who will turn 65 every day until 2030 will require long-term care at some point in their later lives, CNBC reported.

“There definitely is a mindset change, where people are saying, ‘I do want to stay put, I don’t necessarily want to move into a nursing home or into assisted care,’” said Jessica Lautz, deputy chief economist and vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to CNBC.

One beneficiary of the Laguna Beach program told the outlet that her needs have been attended to very promptly, from assistance with yard clean-up to the organization of end-of-life services for her recently deceased husband.

“Anything that I’ve needed, I’ve gotten help,” said Sylvia Bradshaw, an 84-year old Laguna Beach resident when describing her membership in the program.


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