KPBS Follow-Up Interviews on Sequestration

August 26, 2013

Last week KPBS came by the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center to follow-up on the effect that federal across-the-board budget cuts have on low-income seniors in San Diego County.

Proposed cuts to Senior Community Centers’ Meals Program have increased to $233,000 since sequestration first became a reality in March of this year. At a cost of $2.50 per meal, these cuts leave 93,200 meals unfunded. While the gridlock in Washington to figure out the final budget is getting dangerous, Senior Community Centers is committed to serve high quality food and not turn any hungry seniors away.

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Listen to the interview and find out what seniors have to say here:

August 22, 2013 – KPBS Follow-Up Interview on Sequestration


Watch LIVE: US Senate HELP Committee Hearing Testimonial – June 19, 2013 @ 7 am PDT

June 18, 2013

On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7 am (PDT), I will testify before the Senate HELP Committee, Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging – chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who had formerly introduced the reauthorization bill in January 2012.

***Watch the proceedings LIVE at www.help.senate.gov.***

The hearing is titled “Reducing Senior Poverty and Hunger: The Role of the Older Americans Act” and it is held in support of the OAA reauthorization and 2013 amendments to the bill.

June 20, 2013 UPDATE: A video & testimonies of the hearing can be found here.

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About the Senate HELP Committee: The Committee began in 1869 and has been called the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee since 1999.

About the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging: The Subcommittee has oversight over many issues including but not limited to: The Older Americans Act, elder abuse and long-term care services.

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“President Lyndon Johnson hands a pen from the signing of the Older Americans Act to an unknown woman on July 14, 1965. Photo by Yoichi Okamoto and courtesy of the LBJ Library.” (Reference: PBS News Hour Article, May 29, 2013)


Happy Older Americans Month!

May 10, 2013

Every year since 1963, May has been the month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their achievements. This year’s Older Americans Month theme “Unleash the Power of Age!” shows our nation’s commitment to honor the value that older adults contribute to our communities. 

The National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) works year-round to protect and empower seniors in our communities and wholeheartedly joins the 2013 Older Americans Month celebrations.

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As the President of NANASP I’d like to share the following upcoming developments from the latest NANASP bulletin:

In time for Older Americans Month, there are indications of new movement on two important bills that are monitored by NANASP: the Older Americans Act and the Farm Bill.

  • NANASP is monitoring developments with the staff of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging of the Senate HELP Committee which has jurisdiction over the Older Americans Act.  We are hoping for specific actions to be taken during May to jump-start the reauthorization process led by Chairman Bernie Sanders.
  • Action is expected in the House and Senate during the first half of Older Americans Month on a reauthorization of the Farm Bill. NANASP will monitor developments that work to prevent major cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as well as to prevent changes in eligibility for SNAP related to participation in other federal programs.  NANASP will also be working for a strong senior farmers’ market program as well as a strengthened Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and a renewed commitment to SNAP education.

Please join me in celebrating the millions of seniors who built this country through hard work and numerous sacrifices as well as the members of NANASP who continue to advocate for seniors in Washington and who provide critical services that keep seniors healthy, independent and happy.

Let’s take a moment and say Thank You to a senior for making our communities better places to live.

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NANASP is a membership organization for persons working to provide older adults healthful food and nutrition through community-based services. To join NANASP or renew your membership, please click here.


On The Air with Drew Schlosberg for U-T Community Spotlight – “Impact of Senior Community Centers”

April 9, 2013

A few weeks ago, I shared my radio interview with Drew Schlosberg, host of U-T Community Spotlight covering  “Seniors and Technology.”  We also talked about the wide array of services that are available through Senior Community Centers and the role we play in our community.

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(Click the “On Air” picture to listen to the interview.)

Minute-by-Minute Highlights:

Minute 1:00 – Importance of keeping seniors healthy and independent

Minute 2:02 – Collaborative partnerships save SCC over $1MM

Minute 4:28 – Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center utilization

Minute 5:19 – Homeless Prevention, homelessness trends

Minute 7.47 – Senior Nutrition Program and reasons for hunger

Minute 9.57 – Older Americans Act and what it pays for

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!


Impending Storm Calls for Bipartisan Leadership

January 24, 2013

Welcome to the new year as we continue our quest to put Seniors First. In recent months, we have all been so wrapped up in the struggling economy and now the slippery slope of the fiscal cliff that we have failed to pay attention to another looming storm on the horizon – the silver tsunami.

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Baby boomers (people born between the years 1946 and 1964) began turning 65 in 2011. In fact, 10,000 people turn 65 every day now. In 2000, there were 35 million senior citizens in this country. By 2030, there will be 72 million, which will represent 20 percent of the U.S. population. Without services and support in place, the long-term implications of the aging baby-boom population are daunting. […]

A bill was introduced a few months ago to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Unfortunately, his bill – while excellent – received little attention and even less support from his colleagues in the U.S. Senate. In the House of Representatives, not one hearing has been held or piece of legislation been introduced. […]

There is no time like the present to get something done. With the ever-increasing senior population, the OAA is needed now more than ever. Nine million seniors currently rely on the OAA-funded programs for vital, life-sustaining needs. The program also saves taxpayer dollars by reducing health care expenditures, the number of nursing home placements and other expensive long-term care facilities. In fact, the programs require a relatively modest level of assistance (about 0.02 percent of federal discretionary spending), but often make the difference between healthy independent living and costly assisted living, nursing home placements or expensive hospital stays. […]

Call, write, email, tweet and Facebook our congressional delegation and U.S. senators and tell them to end the partisan games and get to work. There are thousands of acres of common ground when it comes to the OAA and helping vulnerable seniors. Let’s show our support for the older adults in our lives, be it grandparents, mothers, fathers, aunts or uncles, and make our voices heard.

~The above material first appeared in the U-T San Diego on January 10, 2013 and the full article can be found here


Support Older Americans Act

March 29, 2012

Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders gathered 14 of his senate colleagues with thousands of advocates on capitol hill to call for reauthorization of Older Americans Act (OAA). The reauthorization is 2 years past-due and leadership in the house appears to not be taking up reauthorization. The Senate bill is the sole bill for reauthorization.

Originally enacted in 1965, the Older American Act (OAA) helps seniors remain independent in their homes and communities. OAA programs provide basic necessities such as meals, home-care, help coordinating long-term care, job training, legal services and protection from abuse and neglect in nursing homes. These programs save taxpayer dollars, by reducing health care expenditures and keeping people out of nursing homes and other expensive long-term care settings. Read more about OAA>>>

I support reauthorization, and ask that Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein join this movement to support reauthorization of Older Americans Act. Please join me in supporting this important bill, and email Senator Boxer (website email form) and Senator Feinstein (website email form).

To stay informed on OAA and other issues join Seniors First San Diego.


Photo Friday: My Meal Matters for Viv

March 16, 2012

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Viv, 60 years old, poses for a picture. She is just one of many seniors volunteering to share why meals served at congregate meal sites matter. It’s all part of Seniors First San Diego’s advocacy work to illustrate the importance and impact nutrition programs make in the lives of the millions of seniors who participate. Find out more>>>


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