Serving more than Healthy Meals to Seniors

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.

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Find out more about our Home Delivered Meals Program at www.servingseniors.org.

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Throwback Thursday: Groundbreaking Ceremony

September 12, 2013

Even before the revitalization plan for San Diego’s East Village came to fruition, Senior Community Centers took a bold step and began the construction of our first affordable senior housing complex in 2002. Petco Park opened in 2004, residential buildings began to sprout up around the ball park in 2005.

Market Square Manor – now Potiker Family Senior Residence – opened in 2003 and 200 seniors found a stable and affordable place to call home.

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Learn more about our affordable housing options at http://www.servingseniors.org.


Is San Diego Ready for an Aging Population?

July 22, 2013

According to a 2013 survey that was commissioned by Pfizer, Inc. and Generations United, San Diego area residents are concerned about our city and ourselves as we get old. With nearly 10,000 people turning 60 every single day and San Diego’s senior population growing by 75% to nearly 1,000,000 people over 60 by 2030, I am not surprised.

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(The tables are always full at Senior Community Centers)

The San Diego survey reveals the following findings:

  • 70% of respondents in the San Diego area agree their workplace values diversity of age but their top work related fear is not being able to get a new job (63%) followed closely by not being able to retire when planned (58%).
  • Only 22% of respondents feel the community is very prepared to provide appropriate healthcare facilities for older people and just 16% feel the community is very prepared to provide home caregiving.
  • Only 16% feel the San Diego area is very prepared with transportation options for older people and just 15% see San Diego as very prepared to provide housing for this population.
  • 56% of San Diego-area respondents feel U.S. politicians portray older generations in a positive way and more than half (53%) feel the media does, too.
  •  A huge majority (94%) agree that technology allows you to stay connected with the people in your life but that it’s a lot of work to keep up with (74%).

What does that mean for our city’s agencies and for Senior Community Centers? The survey shows we have some work to do educating San Diegans about the many fine resources that are available in our community for seniors. But it should also be taken as a wake-up call that we must be diligent about building a strong infrastructure to support the growing demands of an aging population. It is also a lesson for each of us, no matter our age, that we have both the opportunity and responsibility to do things that will keep us healthy, independent and able to fully enjoy our lives.

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The full press release can be found here: Wall Street Journal. Stay tuned to this Get Old Campaign and join the conversation at www.getold.com.


Lawyers Reach Out: Serving More Than Just Lunch

June 7, 2013

Delivering Food And Smiles to Local Seniors

Guest Blogger: Carra Lassman Rhamy, Senior Deputy County Counsel, San Diego County Counsel (carra.rhamy@sdcounty.ca.gov)

For me, few things these days rival the sense of accomplishment gained from winning a motion or trial – though the experience of serving a hot lunch to a grateful senior comes close. I have done a variety of volunteer work in my life, but this is the first time I did this event. I hope it is not my last.

20130319-_M3A6423Usually I work through my lunches or, if I’m lucky, I take a walk outside to get some exercise. But when the invitation came to volunteer by serving lunch to seniors, I thought I’d give it a try. I met up with a small group of judges and attorneys at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. We donned our plastic aprons and gloves, and were ready for our assignments. […]

As for the seniors we served, they were wonderful. When we were all assembled and introduced they applauded us before we even started. They were so gracious and thanked us each time we placed or removed a tray. I could tell that for many of them it was going to be the best meal of their day and maybe the only hot one. As I traversed the room doing my assignment I was impressed with the variety of ethnicities I observed and languages I heard. The years of experience I saw in their faces made me feel humble – a feeling that can be uncommon for an attorney. I was very proud to serve them.

It was a very meaningful experience because it brought me pleasure to be able to help someone in such a basic way. I highly recommend it-and not just because I got to see male judges wearing hairnets. It was extremely rewarding and invigorating. When I returned to my desk that afternoon I knew that, even if I had not finished a winning brief, I had accomplished something even more valuable that day.

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This story appeared in the May/June 2013 issue of San Diego Lawyer. It is posted with the permission of the San Diego County Bar Association. Photo Credit: Barry Carlton.

It is always a pleasure to read about the positive experiences that our volunteers create for themselves and for the seniors we serve at Senior Community CentersThank you, Ms. Rhamy, for volunteering and for sharing your thoughts about the event!


Are you Considering to Retire in San Diego?

March 27, 2013

Endless beaches, year-round wonderful weather, close proximity to the desert and mountains, a rich and diverse culture – San Diego has plenty of exciting activities to offer for an engaging lifestyle during retirement.

San Diego residents benefit from excellent health care and medical research facilities. UC San Diego Medical Center is ranked 37th in the nation for geriatric care.  (The full US News List for Geriatric Care has over 1,500 hospitals listed.)

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But amazing weather, casual beach living and excellent medical care are not enough to make San Diego a top destination for retirement. In fact, San Diego is one of the top 10 worst cities to retire.

“What makes it difficult to retire in the San Diego metro area are the high housing costs. People age 60 and older spend a median of over $1,000 per month on rent and $1,971 monthly on their mortgages, although costs drop to $436 monthly for seniors who have paid off their houses.”

While some retirees have the luxury to choose where to spend their non-working years, Baby Boomers that already live in San Diego may not have that choice and are bound to struggle with the high cost of living. Deep family roots and local investments may make it hard to pack up and settle elsewhere.

The 60+ population in San Diego is projected to increase from 531,980 today to 929,766 in 2030. This 75% increase compared to a 62% increase nationally (from 57 million to 92 million) will impact life in San Diego and the work of Senior Community Centers on many levels.  By 2030, 25% of the population will be over 60 years of age with an average life expectancy of 83 years.

Wherever you choose to spend your retirement, are you prepared for 20+ years without a set salary?  While Congress is still taking too much time to handle our aging population, it’s never too early for you to start planning. (Here is a good retirement planning guide from the US Department of Labor.)


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