Laura Trejo: Purposeful Aging Los Angeles

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador and founder of Bioquark, interviews Ms. Laura Trejo, General Manager of Los Angeles’s Department Of Aging. They talk of the Purposeful Aging Los Angles Initiative.

Ira Pastor Comments:

The World Health Organization (WHO), through their Department of Ageing and Life Course, recently defined this new decade we have just entered (2020–2030) as “The Decade of Healthy Ageing” and see a major opportunity to bring together governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector for ten years of concerted, catalytic and collaborative action to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.

As part of this initiative, they created the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities, which represents a growing network of any city or community that is committed to creating inclusive and accessible urban environments to benefit their ageing populations.

World Health Organization Global Network: Purposeful Aging

A growing number of cities and communities worldwide are striving to better meet the needs of their older residents and the WHO Network was established to foster the exchange of experience and mutual learning between cities and communities worldwide.

Cities and communities in the WHO network are of different sizes and are located in different parts of the world, their efforts take place within very diverse cultural and socio-economic contexts, and they all have the desire and commitment to promote healthy and active ageing and a good quality of life for their older residents.

On a recent show, we took a journey over to the country of Ireland to discuss their activities to include their cities within the WHO network.

Purposeful Aging Los Angeles

Today, we are going to head to the west coast of the USA to see what is going on in the city of Los Angeles on this front.

Photo Credit: Laura Trejo

Context: Purposeful Aging Los Angeles Initiative

The American city of Los Angeles is at the heart of a dynamic shift in what is often times regarded as one of the most, if not the most, global cities in the world. On the national level, Los Angeles is the second largest city in the USA with close to 4 million residents and one of the most racially/ethnically diverse. It houses more than half a million people over the age of 60, with over 1 million in the surrounding LA region.

The Purposeful Aging Los Angeles Initiative (PALA) is a groundbreaking initiative and partnership between the County and the City of Los Angeles, other regional cities, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the private sector, and universities, and was formed to help the Los Angeles region prepare for a dramatic demographic shift in the older adult population that will occur by 2030 (est 2.2 million people over the age of 65).

Purposeful Aging Los Angeles’ Goal

PALA’s ultimate goal is to make the Los Angeles region the most age-friendly in the world.

By making Los Angeles a better place to grow old, the Purposeful Aging L.A. Initiative looks to make the city a better place for Angelenos of all ages to live, work, play, invest and visit. Galvanizing partnerships around an age-friendly focus, this effort brings together leaders from government, business and healthcare as well as educational, religious, cultural and community organizations to consider how changes to policy and practice can create a city more inclusive of older adults with their special needs as well as assets.

Photo Credit: Laura Trejo

Laura Trejo Specializes in Aging Related Issues

Joining us today to discuss this and a range of related topics is Ms. Laura Trejo, General Manager of Los Angeles’s Department Of Aging.

Ms Trejo has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Science in Gerontology and a Master of Public Administration, has overseen the LA department of Aging for the last 18 years, and is an expert in her field. She has been a frequent speaker and consultant both nationally and internationally on issues related to the elderly and aging.

On this episode we will hear from Ms. Trejo:

About her background, how she became interested in psychology, gerontology, and in the future of aging. The creation of the PALA program and learnings/challenges for meeting the WHO program requirements in a “mega-city” like LA. Finally, we’ll learn about PALA’s many programs, including the “Aging Mastery” program, the “Dementia Friends L.A.” program, and the “Bringing Our Loved Ones Home” program.

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador and founder of Bioquark

Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.

Follow Ira Pastor on Twitter: @IraSamuelPastor

If you liked this interview, be sure to check out our interview with Catherine McGuigan about Age Friendly Ireland!

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