Almost one in ten Somerville residents is an older adult. Seniors are a vital part of our society and their perspectives and experiences are important in how we conceptualize our city. Clearly politically engaged older adults care about all the issues of other Somervillens but there are also specific challenges and priorities to our older residents. As mayor, I will create a culture of opportunities to further expand services through budgeting and infrastructure to support all of our residents, especially the vulnerable. The city has some programs that benefit older residents, such as tax concessions on water and sewer rates, and social service programs, such as the Council on Aging, that provide support services, socialization, essential information, and entertainment. My administration will expand programs targeting older adults to include collaboration on affordable housing, access to healthcare resources, and socialization in community spaces.
Cost of Living: Seniors are more likely to be living on a fixed income and affordability is an important issue. There are things the city can help with and other issues that the mayor can be an effective advocate at a higher level for our older residents.
Housing: Housing issues affect all of our residents but there are particular challenges for our older people. Making sure that housing remains affordable and well maintained is a priority for my vision of Somerville.
Healthcare: Having worked in the community at CHA, I understand how important healthcare access is and how much we need a safety net for our residents. There must be provision for transportation, technological help, and other assistance to make sure our older people can live healthy lives in our community.
Socialization: 40% of our older residents live alone and the pandemic has laid bare how isolating that can be. As a city we need to work towards creating a social matrix that provides care for all our residents. I would also work with the strong non-profit agencies to create a continuum of care as older adults' needs and supports increase.