By Julia Prodis Sulek and Leigh Poitinger, SJ Mercury News
Posted: 07/02/2011 04:11:05 PM PDT
Phyllis Harding is slowing down now that she’s 89. She’s a bit forgetful and can’t walk too far or too fast. But she’ll be line dancing with her walker at the “Old Fogies Follies” this month, thanks to organized activities at her senior housing community in Los Gatos that is doing its best to keep her healthy longer.
“I’m living forever!” she said with a plucky smile as she got ready to order a new swimming suit for her water aerobics class at The Terraces of Los Gatos.
For Harding and the over-85 set, it certainly seems that way. New census numbers show that Harding is part of the “oldest olds” — the fastest growing population in Santa Clara County as well as the country. The over-85 population increased a stunning 52.7 percent in Santa Clara County between 2000 and 2010, more than any other age group, including 55-to-64-year-old Baby Boomers, which grew 37.4 percent. In San Mateo County, the over-85 population increased 34.9 percent, slightly less than the Baby Boomer population, which grew by 40.4 percent.
In other words, Silicon Valley — a place known since the 1960s for luring millions of young workers and their families to launch the technology revolution — is graying. Over the next 10 years, the number of people over 60 is expected to nearly double, while the number of those 75 or older is expected to triple by 2030, according to a report from the Silicon Valley Council on Aging. Over the next decade, the 20-to-39 age bracket will decrease the most, by about 2.4 percent, the report says. [emphasis mine]
The Merc summarized this article as “The over 85 folks are mostly whites living in wealthy suburbs of Los Gatos and Los Altos, but Latino and Asian ‘oldest olds’ are growing quickly.”
Want a house in Los Gatos or Los Altos? Just wait for these folks to slow down a little more. Other “wealthy white communities” where you’ll find the growing community of the “oldest old” are “…Saratoga, Monte Sereno… Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto.”
And at some point those homes will change ownership. According to Nancy Hikoyeda, associate director of the Stanford Geriatric Education Center, 85-plussers are hit with “compression of morbidity… multiple illnesses, often including some form of dementia, which make them more frail.”
That’s great news for all those idle kitchen and bath contractors, because the homes probably are as frail as their owners and could use about 40 years’ worth of updates.
This is an Open Thread. Any homes in your neighborhood that could be up for sale soon due to a little morbidity compression?