1000 South Main Street, Suite 216
Salinas, California 93901
ph 831 755-4466 fx 831 757-9226
Aging and Adult Services
Mary Goblirsch, Branch Director
AREA AGENCY ON AGING
2008 Senior Needs Assessment
Senior (60+) Population Growth
2010 2020 2030 2040 2050
With the aging of the baby -boomer generation the number of people aged 60 years and
older in Monterey County is projected to grow by more than 50% by the year 2030.
The Monterey County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is tasked with the responsibili ty of
planning to meet the needs of this growing population. In the fall of 2008 the AAA
conducted a county wide senior needs assessment to help determine the unmet needs,
under-utilized services and barriers preventing access to available services for se niors
and dependent adults in our County. The information gathered will help us to develop
program goals and funding priorities for Older American’s and Californian’s Act Funding.
This Needs Assessment report is based upon interviews and written surveys with older
individuals and service providers throughout Monterey County. Every effort was made
to ensure feedback was solicited from rur al parts of the county and from seniors living
below the poverty level.
The survey was also designed to identify the unmet needs and barriers for lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors as they may lack the social and family support
networks available to non-LGBT seniors. Unfortunately, we were not able to collect
enough data to determine that information but our agency remains committe d to
gathering input from LGBT seniors to ensure their needs are adequately assessed
during the planning and development of programs and services.
Demographics of Respondents
Area of Residence Race/Ethnicity Primary Language
16% North County 53% White 62% English
25% Peninsula 35% Hispanic 26% Spanish
29% South County 12% Blank/Other 12% Blank/Other
Over 400 seniors participated in the Needs Assessment process. About half reported
that they currently live alone and nearly half reported having a disability, a third noted
they are currently caring for another person. 46% of respo ndents indicated they have
less than a high school education, 25% attended at least some college and nearly 20%
have a college degree. We were able to gather information that reflects the diversity of
seniors living in our county.
Top Senior Needs Ages 60- 85+
In Home Domestic Help
Senior Center Activities
Information and Assistance
Top Needs Of People Age 59 And Under
Information and Assistance
Senior Center Activities
Help caring for a loved one
What Makes It Difficult To Access Services?
“I don’t know where to go or who to ask for help”
“Transportation is difficult”
“The service is not offered where I live”
The AAA also partnered with the Monterey County Food Bank to distribute the surveys
and conduct field interviews with seniors and adults with disabilities at their Family
Markets (a farmer’s market style food distribution program) in each region of the county.
We noted key trends in several areas of the County below.
In King City, many close to retirement seniors talked about the need for work, even part
time to help them pay for necessities until they were old enough for social security
payments to begin. They also described how hard it was to get to and from medical and
other necessary appointments in Salinas where the majority of service agencies are
located. Many said the public transportation schedule was too limited and too costly,
especially for those that needed to have a caregiver accompany them.
In Greenfield, many of the seniors said they needed help paying for dental care and
assistance around the house, cleaning and doing yard work.
We also heard about feelings of discrimination during the interviews in the South
County. Many of the people identifying themselves a s Caucasian expressed concern
about their ability to qualify for services due their ethnic or cultural background while
many of the individuals identifying themselves as Hispanic spoke about feeling
unwelcome when trying to access services due to their eth nic or cultural background.
In Marina and Seaside, the majority of people wanted to know how to find information
about available services for seniors and dependent adults. Others talked about the
need for more dental care and coverage for dental care, as well as the need for
transportation to and from medical offices located out of Marina in the Ryan Ranch
In Castroville, nearly everyone noted the need for a pharmacy in Castroville. Seniors
there described the difficulties of being frail and having to drive or find transportation to
Salinas or the Peninsula to obtain their prescribed medications.
Feedback from seniors in Pacific Grove, Monterey, and Carmel said they were
satisfied with current services and were thankful for the senior c enters in those
Senior Service Provider Survey
Surveys were developed and distributed to all AAA funded senior service agencies, to
the Aging and Adult service staff at the Department of Social and Employment Services,
and to private sector senior service agencies.
22 Provider Surveys were returned, 58% from agencies currently receiving Older
American’s Act (OAA) funding. 40% of respondents said their primary job was direct
services and 32% said their primary job was administrative. 23 % indicated they
provided both or they filled out the survey as a group .
Senior service providers identified transportation, housing and health care as the top
needs for the seniors they serve. They reported that seniors have trouble accessing
services because they don’t know about them and often haven’t saved enough money
to pay for them.
68% identified Lack of Knowledge of Existing Services as the most important barrier
to seniors accessing services. 45% said the Cost of services is a barrier and 36% said
Language is a barrier for seniors in accessing services.
Over half of the respondents to the Provider Survey said the number one way the AAA
could help to address barriers for seniors was to “become more visible” and
“publicize services more ”. Other comments suggested the AAA advocate for seniors
and providers and help agencies find alternate funding sources.
Providers also noted a need to increase their own capacity to serve non English
speaking clients, to better advertise their services and to increase their awareness of
and relationships with other service providers throughout the county.
Three basic themes emerged from both seniors and service providers that will help
guide and inform funding and program goals for the Ar ea Agency on Aging 2009 -2012
Develop Community-based services
Support the development of new programs to assist with in home domestic help,
increase the number of culturally appropriate services and volunteers, and increase
access to programs in North and South County.
Increase the Quality of Existing Services: Help to foster the development of
programs and services to ensure seniors and adults with disabilities have access to
high quality, inclusive, and accessible services . Ensure providers are connected and
aware of senior issues.
Advocacy: Publicize existing services in Marina, Seaside, and in North and South
County Cities. Dedicate effort toward building relationships with the community to
engage new partners and leverage fundi ng sources. Provide a voice for seniors so that
they needs are known throughout the County.
The Area Agency on Aging will develop goals and objectives that help to address this
issues raised in the needs assessment. The 2009-2012 Area Plan will be available for
review and public input hearings will be held throughout the County in March 2009. For
more information please contact Marcie Castro at 831 -755-3426 or