Saturday, June 18, 2016
[Ventura County] Grand jury says seniors’ needs not being met
According to California Department of Finance estimates, Ventura County seniors 60 and older will make up 29 percent of the population by 2030.
The challenge is to meet the needs of this growing segment of society.
In a review of senior nutrition programs, the 2015-16 grand jury learned that, although congregate meals are available to seniors five days a week throughout the county, they are only available to seniors in the City of Camarillo once a month.
The grand jury opened an investigation into this issue by interviewing key personnel, conducting research and reviewing California State and federal legislation.
The Camarillo Health Care District, the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District and the City of Camarillo provide services and support for senior programs in their area. Before 2013, CHCD and PVRPD worked together to provide congregate meals for seniors four days a week. Through a joint agreement, the park district provided facilities and the healthcare district managed the program with public funding.
Federal and state funding for nutrition services has been stagnant for several years.
Providers must now contribute 10 percent of previous funding to cover the costs.
The grand jury also learned that cities in the county vary in their general fund support of senior programs, ranging from $66.83 per senior in Moorpark to $2.36 each in Camarillo.
As a result of the investigation, the grand jury found that the senior population of Camarillo has not been formally surveyed to determine its needs, and that the healthcare and park districts and the city do not adequately collaborate or coordinate efforts to meet the needs of the senior population.
The grand jury recommends that the City of Camarillo conduct a needs survey of its senior population. In addition, it recommends that the City Council, the Camarillo Health Care District and the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District work together to determine goals and strategies to best serve the seniors.
For the complete report, visit www.ventura.org/grand-jury; click on the Annual Reports tab and consult Fiscal Year 2015-2016.
June 17, 2016