Senior Centers Meeting Today’s Challenge

November 29, 2011 - Paul Downey

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 - Paul Downey

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 - Paul Downey

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 - Paul Downey

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,

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