September 25, 2013
James is a new senior resident at one of downtown San Diego’s single room occupancy hotels. James is new in San Diego and has no family or friends nearby. The small room is equipped with a twin bed and a tiny sink; bathrooms are shared with other hotel residents. Paying for the hotel room to avoid living on the streets is about all that James can afford.
James found out about Senior Community Centers home delivered meals program through other hotel residents and called to sign up as well. Kimberly, one of our home delivered meals drivers, came by the next day with a hot and nutritious lunch as well as breakfast for the next day. On Fridays, our drivers deliver breakfast and lunch for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, James had to decline the meals because he could not store or heat up the food.
Letting one of our clients go hungry for an entire weekend – and many other weekends to follow – is not an option. Senior Community Centers’ Food Service Director took extra ordinary measures and discovered a small fridge and a microwave in working condition in our limited storage space.
James was very grateful and surprised when Kimberly delivered a fridge and microwave along with fresh meals during her next visit! We sure made his day and are excited to know that James has access to healthy food seven days a week.
Find out more about our Home Delivered Meals Program at www.servingseniors.org.
August 30, 2013
San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria and his team served lunch at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center this month. While seniors always feel honored to greet and chat with Mr. Gloria, Violet was especially excited about her special birthday experience!
Want to serve lunch and put big smiles on our seniors’ faces? Visit www.servingseniors.org and find out How to Help!
August 16, 2013
It’s been 10 years this month since Senior Community Centers first opened Potiker Family Senior Residence – an affordable housing complex in San Diego’s East Village that nearly 200 seniors call their home!
Providing access to housing has the greatest economic impact on the quality of life for many low-income seniors in San Diego. Surviving on a small fixed income to pay for rent, food and medication is no easy task and seniors are at risk of homelessness and too often begin the downward spiral from independence to institutionalization in their golden years.
(Seniors at Potiker Family Senior Residence celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary)
A handful of residents have been with us for the entire 10 years and remember my announcement in 2003 that “Market Square Manor’ (the original name of the project) is ready for move-in day. Residents recall the days when they could see the Petco Park scoreboard from the roof of our building before nearby high rises took shape.
One of our residents is Joe (77). After being homeless for 17 years, he moved into Potiker Family Senior Residence in 2003. He found a new purpose to live and became the President of the Potiker Residents Association and the Director of the Garden Club. He shared his experience at our 10 year anniversary gathering with his fellow residents:
“This place saved my life and I love living here. I am so thankful for what staff and the management company do for us. They listen and make sure our needs are addressed. We have had great outings to Balboa Park and other San Diego destinations. I am most thankful for our flourishing garden and the joy it brings me and other seniors. Our Civic Engagement group is all about fellowship, solutions and everyone – all of you – are welcome. We are family here.”
To learn more how we help at-risk seniors remain healthy and independent, join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter or visit our Website.
June 28, 2013
It’s never too late to follow your dream and spend your days doing what you love. In fact, entering an Encore Career can be a lot more rewarding than simply working to get by. For whatever reason you decide to remain in the workforce past the traditional retirement age, you might as well enjoy it.
Jan (standing) retired from her career in education in 2001 and continues to work as a consultant in addition to volunteering multiple times a week to serve lunch to seniors at Senior Community Centers.
Baby Boomers in their 60s and 70s have most likely had a first career and already built a life for themselves and their families. Entering a second career therefore comes with a lot less pressure and serves as a healthy way to spend the golden years. It may take a little while to get hired, but it’s worth it. Here is a list of resources and success stories of people loving their Encore Careers:
“A whopping 25 million Americans between 44-70 hope to start their own businesses in the coming 5-10 years, according to a 2011 MetLife Foundation study. Half want to start what they consider a socially responsible enterprise.”
“I was 66 years old when I received my firefighter certification, which supposedly made me the oldest person, or at least oldest female ever, to achieve the certification in the state, and possibly in all of New England.”
“While Encore.org is not a job placement service, it provides free, comprehensive information that helps people transition to jobs in the nonprofit world and the public sector.”
The article from Next Avenue covers how to create an Encore Resume and dispels myths about Encore Careers.
This concludes the 3-piece series on Encore Careers. Please join the conversation and share your success stories below.
June 14, 2013
This is part one of a three-piece series on Encore Careers. As more and more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, many actually remain in the workforce or reinvent themselves for an Encore Career. Reasons for remaining employed are as diverse as the seniors facing those decisions.
“Work is not about the money. I want to stay busy.” ~Archie Moore Jr.
At Senior Community Centers 14 percent of our workforce is 65 years or older. Not long ago the typical American’s goal was to retire before age 65 but now more workers are pushing back retirement into their 70s.
Statistics show that 18.5 percent of Americans age 65 and over were still working in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Baby boomers are staying in the workforce for a multitude of reasons. They are trying to help cover the costs associated with their children’s college tuition while caring for their aging parents. Does that sound familiar? Others continue to work after their retirement savings took a deep hit during the recession. In addition, many Americans are now living into their late 80s and 90s outliving their retirement savings.
“Being a senior myself opened my eyes on how the senior population was neglected and I wanted to do something with my own hands to help.” (Archie Moore Jr.)
For many older adults having a purpose and making a difference in the community is what keeps them in the workforce. “Work is not about the money. I want to stay busy.” says Archie Moore, Jr., age 70. After 25 years in sales, over 15 years as a pharmacist and two college degrees, Archie felt he was most needed serving seniors in downtown San Diego and joined Senior Community Centers’ Nutrition Program where he continues to make a difference not just for himself but for our community.
It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and follow your passion. What keeps you actively engaged in today’s workforce?
Check back next Friday for Part 2 covering Encore Careers: 6 Tips that Help Baby Boomers get Hired.
May 14, 2013
The California Wellness Foundation Conference in San Francisco was once again a great experience with engaging breakout sessions. Discussions included how the Fiscal Cliff will impact the future of grant making, the future of agencies that serve our low-income population and the role that for-profit organizations might play in a traditionally non-profit arena.
We were faced with questions such as:
- What can be done to prevent smaller agencies to be left behind when facing sequestration and budget cuts?
- What happens to the people these agencies serve?
- How can social services agencies and nutrition programs build capacity to survive?
We may not have the answers but we need to have the conversation with both sides of the aisle to come up with solutions.
One way to get the conversation started is to mobilize seniors to become advocates. As a panel participant I shared our successful advocacy program with the audience and Queen Johnson, a senior volunteer at Senior Community Centers and appointed Senior Assembly Member of the California Senior Legislature, accompanied me to share her experience.
See for yourself what Queen has to say and how you can become an advocate:
Senior Community Centers’ Civic Engagement meetings are held on Wednesdays at 1:30 pm at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. Join us! (Check the Activities Calendar for more information)