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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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Governor Brown Appoints SDSU Professor to Commission on Aging

Joaquin Anguera named to three-year volunteer term
By SDSU News Team

Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Joaquin Anguera, professor of gerontology at San Diego State University’s School of Social Work, to the California Commission on Aging.

“I’m pleased and honored by the appointment, even though I know it will involve additional work,” said Anguera, who has been a research professor at SDSU since 1999.

That extra workload, he acknowledged, could be imperative as the number of elderly people in the state is getting larger every year. First it was the wave of aging Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), and now it’s the graying Generation-Xers (born 1965-1980). According to the most recent U.S. Census data,  more than 27 percent of Californians are now 50 years of age or older.  That number is expected to grow to 35 percent by 2020 and more than double in 2060.

For Anguera, there are many critical issues impacting older people that he says policymakers need to tackle today, including housing, transportation, in-home services, caregiving, legal matters and elder abuse.

His volunteer work on the Commission on Aging will focus on analyzing and offering support to new state regulations and legislation that will help address many of these aging-related concerns.

One of Anguera’s primary interests is working to change the negative perception of aging as “decline, deterioration and dependence,” to a more positive outlook of “connectedness, commitment and contributions to our communities.”

He wants to challenge stereotypes about aging, in part, by raising awareness about how the talents, energies and life skills of older persons can better contribute to society.

“It’s unfortunate that we let go to waste the vast reservoir of wisdom and experience of our elders,” he said.

In his SDSU coursework, he emphasizes the importance of direct contact with older persons and their families to better understand and tap into these resources.

Anguera, 72, has been interested and involved in the field of aging for more than 40 years. He was a practitioner, direct services provider and administrator at the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s Aging and Independent Services from 1974 to 2005. 

Now as a gerontology professor, he studies and lecturers on the research and theoretical foundations of aging in contemporary society.  He also is a member of Elder Law and Advocacy, Independent Transportation Network and Consumer Advocates for Residential Care for Elderly Reform.