Census Releases Brief on Aging Demographics

November 30, 2011

To read the brief released today by the US Census. Click here>>>

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Senior Centers Meeting Today’s Challenge

November 29, 2011

cover page of bookletLast month, I battled rush hour traffic at the speed of a walking toddler (alright, maybe more like a running toddler but you get the idea) up to Los Angeles for the California Senior Center Stakeholder Forum.

Participants were given booklets put together by California Commission on Aging. Senior Community Centers is recognized twice. First for our collaborative model of care at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center; secondly, for building a successful model of civic engagement. A first among low-income seniors. I’m extremely proud to be part of this organization as we continue to work to meet the needs of low-income seniors.

paul downey at podum addressing crowd

In addition to my moderation duties, we participated as panelists on advocacy and fundraising sessions. In our political climate, these two topics are vital the our ability to serve seniors. Tomorrow, the US Census releases information specific to older adults. Stay tuned because I’ll be sharing my thoughts about it in a special vlog post tomorrow.

Materials from breakout sessions for advocacy and fundraising (along with the other topics) will be shared on CCoA’s website.


Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2011

Joseph Gavin moved from Chicago to attend San Diego State University. He’s pursuing a master’s degree in Gerontology and is a former West Scholar. Last month he joined SCC as an outreach case manager.

joe gavinIn looking back on my year, I find the source of many pleasant recollections is my eleven months at Senior Community Centers. I’ve engaged with the efforts of the organization on multiple levels.  As a volunteer on a farmer’s market trip, in the home-delivered meals and advocacy programs as a student-intern; and now employed as a part-time outreach case manager, I see the importance of the work that SCC does. Each one of these experiences provide me with a variety of rewards, but none greater than the relationships formed with the seniors and staff alike who give me far more than I return to them. It’s a bountiful year for me.I can think of no better way to express my humble thanks than to participate in the serving of the Thanksgiving meal.

Volunteering on this day allows me to share in the community spirit that is part of the fabric of the organization. This connection to the importance of work done on behalf of others will serve to bring me closer to my family, especially my mother and father. Though we will be separated by many miles on this day, volunteering to serve seniors brings to life the values and principles they worked so hard to instill in me. It will make it feel as though they are right here with me. Each one of us takes away something different from a volunteer experience; for me it is the physical expression of honor and respect to those who aided and guided me, taught and cared for me. Whatever your idea of personal reward for volunteer work may be, I am confident you can find a chance to uncover it here at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Every year our SCC family comes together to serve seniors during the holidays. Former and current board members, staff and the many volunteers throughout San Diego habitually make this part of their holiday tradition. I would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to everyone who helps to make the holidays special for our seniors. To find out how to volunteer or become a Food from the Heart family, click here>>>. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. – Paul


Tale of Two Seniors

November 22, 2011

The disparities in aging illustrated by Alison St John’s KPBS story, “Disparities Clear At Senior Living Communities In San Diego” are realities not just in San Diego but throughout the United States. As we sit down with our family and friends for Thanksgiving day dinner, I hope you consider the many seniors without support or families. I invite you to join Senior Community Centers in our mission to provide them with nutritional meals by becoming a “Food from the heart” family. Read more about this important program>>>


Weekend Wrap-up and Supercommittee Update

November 21, 2011

Supercommittee Disappointment

Let’s just say, we’re profoundly disappointed in the committee’s inability to work together on behalf of America.

(Washington D.C.) – Today, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Representative Jeb Hensarling and Senator Patty Murray, released the following statement.  Read the following statement>>>click here

New Data Shows Seniors among Highest Poverty Levels

In case you missed it. Data released from the Census Bureau provides a startling picture of poverty in the United States. Individuals ages 65 and up have endured the highest spike in a shortage of funds mainly due to co-pays that aren’t covered by Medicare plans. More detailed information can be found in the following article by David Morgan, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/07/us-usa-poverty-idUSTRE7A634M20111107


Dear Super Committee; Don’t Leave Seniors Hungry and out in the Cold

November 17, 2011

Members of Congress regularly cite the important work done by non-profit organizations to bridge the gap between government programs and actual community need.  Yet we have a situation where the so-called “Super Committee” is considering draconian cuts in domestic programs like senior nutrition and eliminating or reducing the charitable gift deduction for taxpayers.

How can they possibly expect charities like Senior Community Centers to protect vulnerable seniors without government funding and private donations?  The situation has devolved into the theater of the absurd.

To put the need in context, check out a couple of recent articles such as, “New scale finds more poverty” in the San Diego Union-Tribune and “Senior Citizens in U.S. Falling Into Poverty Faster Under Census Measure” in Bloomberg News.  They illustrate how rapidly seniors are falling into poverty at higher rates. We know that the boomers aging into programs began this year. If predictions hold true, seniors will double their numbers by 2030. With the insurgence of older adults aging into programs, we must protect our ability to fundraise, especially if congress continues their path towards under-funding essential nutrition and wellness programs for seniors. We refuse to fade quietly away while the Super Committee decides to leave seniors out in the cold.

The Super Committee needs to think about the ramifications of its proposed cuts and make a clear statement in support of the charitable deduction.   Please contact the members of the Super Committee and ask them to protect senior nutrition programs and charitable giving deductions.

Home / Members

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Co-Chair, Phone: 202-225-3484
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Co-Chair, Phone: 202- 224-2621
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) Phone: 202- 224-2651
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) Phone: 202.225.6235
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) Phone: 202-225-3561
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) Phone: 202-225-3315
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)Phone: 202- 224-2742
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) Phone: 202- 224-4521
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) Phone: 202-224-3353
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) Phone: 202 224-4254
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) Phone: 202 225-3761
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Phone: 202 225-5341


Falling Back – Weekend Wrap Up

November 7, 2011

This weekend we gained an hour. What did you do with your extra hour?

Our Website Gets a Makeover

Senior Community Centers updated our homepage, added advocacy section to include more information on our key issues and Seniors First initiative. Along with the aesthetic changes comes a new sponsorship program, “Food from the Heart.” . If you haven’t seen it, click here >>>www.servingseniors.org

 NANASP meets in Chicago, Sets Focus

Last week the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Service Programs (NANASP) Strategic Planning session was held in Chicago. It was decided that the focus will be on Reauthorization of Older Americans Act (OAA) and Budget issues surrounding (specifically) nutrition programs and (generally) aging programs.

The next deadline to watch is Wednesday. Super-Committee draft proposal is due to the Whitehouse Budget Office (WBO) November 23. The WBO previously stated that it needs two weeks to confirm savings in proposed cuts – which makes Wednesday a milestone. Stay tuned…


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