By Isaac Aelion, Commissioner
(March 31, 2015) – According to recently published data by the Miami Dade County Age-Friendly Initiative Report, if an individual reaches 65 years of age, it’s likely the person will live until 85. Indeed, the report enlightens that Americans are having fewer children, people are living longer, and the percentage of older adults in Miami Dade County is continuing to grow with the population of older adults expected to increase by 60% by 2030. Sunny Isles Beach is no exception. Our Baby Boomers are entering retirement age and City Government will be entrusted to expand the initiatives to improve the lifestyle of this increasing age group through a variety of actions and long-term planning.
Our Mayor Bud Scholl noted at a recent commission meeting and in a recent article, that a senior center is projected to be built in the near future. This will go a long way to accommodate the social needs of our seniors. Long-term planning policies will also have to be part of the overall initiatives. The new Mount Sinai Medical Center in Sunny Isles Beach opening soon is a welcomed addition which will serve our senior population well in the future. But I believe that efforts will have to be expanded to include further practical initiatives. For example, identifying senior friendly local businesses which will participate in the promotion of discounts to seniors who walk to their business on a designated day every week. Improve employment opportunities for older adults. Include the use of our City Parks and Beaches as venues specific for senior gatherings with special adult oriented recreational programs and events. Organize Senior Mini Walkathons and more…
Presently, the City’s Cultural and Community Services Department offers a variety of programs for all ages and specific activities for seniors. SIB Social Seniors Events Inc., a not for profit local organization, also offers a rich variety of programs catering to the local senior community. However, the inevitable increase of the senior population in the years to come will undoubtedly necessitate the targeted expansion of senior-friendly initiatives by our local government.