Senior Transitional Housing Program Day

February 28, 2012

Council members Faulconer and Gloria proclaimed today, February 28th, “Senior Transitional Housing Day” in the City of San Diego. After the proclamation I took a moment for our flip camera.

Positive Solutions Program Completes First Year

February 14, 2012

positive solutions program team photoPaul invites Pei-Chen Emily Wu, Psy.D., Program Manager of UPAC Positive Solutions Program, to share the collaborations between UPAC and SCC in serving seniors who are homebound or socially isolated.

Union of Pan-Asian Communities (UPAC) Positive Solutions Program (PSP) is funded by County of San Diego, Mental Health Services Act, Prevention and Early Intervention. It is home-based program utilizing a gatekeeper model. Its goal – to identify homebound and/or socially isolated seniors (60+) residing in the North County and the Central Region of San Diego who experience or at risk of depression and suicide.  In central San Diego County, one main partner is Senior Community Centers (SCC).  The collaboration between agencies is vital to the wellbeing of homebound and/or socially isolated seniors.  Many of the homebound clients who receive meals from SCC participated in PSP.  SCC Home-Delivery-Meal Support Service Coordinator,Ofelia Reyes, states, “I noticed the positive changes that homebound clients make in their lives by participating in UPAC Positive Solutions Program. The main goal of collaboration is to improve the lives of our homebound clients by providing access to multiple services.”

In Fiscal Year 2010-2011, PSP has its first full year outcome.

  • served 814 unduplicated seniors in both San Diego Central Region and North County
  • 86 percent of seniors who received brief intervention services have shown risk and symptoms reduction
  • 44 percent have at least 50 percent of symptoms reduction compared to 43 percent for the original PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives) study

Satisfaction Survey:

Increase & maintain self-sufficiency: 100%

Reduce self-isolation:  83.12%

Increase social support: 83.33%

Feeling more comfortable to seek for help: 92.94%

Increase knowledge about available resources: 94.25%

Overall Satisfaction: 94.25%

Photo Friday: Money Matters with George Chamberlain

February 3, 2012

Filming my segment for Money Matters with George Chamberlin airing 6:30pm on Saturday.

Let’s Start the Conversation

February 2, 2012

The last few months I’ve spent time presenting to civic-minded groups, groups like Southeast San Diego Rotary and San Diego Coastal Rotary, on the “graying of America” and the resulting aging policy implications.   The number of seniors will double in the United States by 2030 to more than 80 million, including 700,000 here in San Diego.  As a community and a country, we have an opportunity to prepare properly for this seismic demographic shift.

There are major issues like social security and Medicare that need fixing, but what about:

  • Our workforce. As our population ages, so does the work-force. The first round of Baby Boomers began reaching the traditional retirement age of 65 last year.  Employers will need to look at retaining older workers through flexible schedules or job-sharing.  We can’t afford to have large number of workers retire because there won’t be enough people to take their place; and we’ll need folks to continue paying into social security.
  • Housing/Development. Nearly 42 percent of older adults do not have enough income to meet basic needs, including housing.* The loss of redevelopment funding will have a chilling effect on the development of new affordable housing in California.  No demographic will be more impacted that low-income seniors.   New housing policies and funding sources must be identified to stimulate affordable housing construction to meet the demand.
  • Transportation. It is no surprise that as we age, so does our dependence on transportation. For those seniors who either don’t or      can’t drive, public transit is often their only means to get to doctors appointments, social outings or to eat at congregate meal sites, like the Gary and Mary West Senior Center. This means investing in public transit innovation that will meet the needs of an aging population.

We have the opportunity right now to begin addressing these issues.  The alternative is to simply wait until aging issues become crises and deal with them in panic mode — a really poor way to create significant public policy.


*according to Elder Index. Read more about the Elder Economic Security on Senior Community Centers website

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