Taking a Walk in a Senior’s Shoes

February 27, 2015 - Serving Seniors

Imagine waking up one morning and you’re suddenly several decades older than you were the day before.  You’d likely be confronted with a whole host of challenges that120 weren’t present the day prior and have a far greater understanding of what it truly means to age.  That type of first-hand understanding is what we aimed to foster at our “Trading Ages” workshop last week.

Serving Seniors, along with SCAN and Scripps Health, co-hosted an interactive workshop for the staff of San Diego’s elected officials to better understand their senior constituents and the challenges they face.  We are all aging from the moment we’re born but it doesn’t truly sink in until it begins to hinder our daily living.

Throughout the workshop, participants were given mock disabilities that either impeded their ability to walk comfortably or gave them the effects of a stroke.  They also experienced vision problems and loss of dexterity.  They were then asked to perform basic activities with the existence of these new found disabilities or challenges.  This element can prove to be quite enlightening.


It’s no secret that seniors are emerging as one of the largest and fastest-growing groups in the state of California.  It is essential that our elected leaders and creators of public policy understand the unique needs of older adults. We are hopeful that through workshops and classes like these we can help to expand that understanding and broaden their knowledge base.


We are grateful to SCAN for leading this unique and engaging workshop and to Scripps Health for co-hosting the event.

Startling Fire Demonstrates the Strength of Our Community

February 25, 2015 - Serving Seniors

On Friday, February 20, 2015, a fire broke out at Potiker Family Senior Residence. Residents were immediately Potiker Fire A 2-15evacuated in an orderly fashion. Serving Seniors’ staff kept residents comfortable and addressed immediate needs including providing clothing, locating medication and serving lunch and dinner. That afternoon, 145 residents were able to return to their units. Fifty-five seniors were moved into a nearby hotel. Over the subsequent two days, all but 17 were able to return home thanks to non-stop cleanup and repair efforts. Serving Seniors has arranged temporary housing and meals for them. All seniors are expected to be moved back into their units within the next 60 days.

This was a collaborative effort and we are grateful for the East Village community’s willingness to step up and take action. We would like to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to the entire Serving Seniors staff as well as partners at Hyder Property Management, Servpro, MTS, East Village Community Church and Albertson’s in East Village for their tenacious efforts to ensure the safety of the senior residents.

Our social workers have worked tirelessly to provide support and address the needs of our residents. The senior who was injured in the fire was released from the hospital the next day and is doing fine. This event was a great example of folks coming together to care for our vulnerable senior population in a time of need.


PicMonkey Collage

Photos courtesy of the San Diego Fire Rescue Department


The Benefits of Having a Furry Friend

February 13, 2015 - Serving Seniors

Here at Serving Seniors we love to see seniors remain independent as long as possible.  One way we see this happening is through the help of animals.  You’re almost as likely to see a furry, four-legged resident as you are to see a senior if you visit one of our affordable housing complexes as many of our seniors have pets or service animals.


Studies have shown that, aside from having a constant companion that is always there, seniors who adopt pets seem to:

  • Have a buffer against loneliness
  • Maintain a clear sense of purpose
  • Derive a profound sense of satisfaction from living with an animal
  • Be more likely to exercise
  • Have lower blood pressure and a decreased likelihood of depression


“A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can’t always explain it myself, but for years now I’ve seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.”

-Dr. Edward Creagan, Oncologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Pets appear to provide a sense of consistency in a rapidly changing world, and may reinforce feelings of self-sufficiency, dependability and optimism with their owners.   Above all, pets offer their owners unconditional love and attention, something many of our seniors are missing in their later years.

Educating Seniors About Heart Health

February 3, 2015 - Serving Seniors

February is American Heart Month and we are all encouraged to learn about the risks of heart disease and senior heart healthstroke and stay “heart healthy.” Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. With this in mind and the senior population we serve, we found heart health education to be a critical need for our clients.

Last year our Nurse Case Manager, Christine Holcomb, set out to design a Heart Disease Prevention program for San Diego seniors with the help of a grant from Kaiser Permanente. She has since created a comprehensive program that consists of five one-hour classes focusing on topics such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiac medications, and diet and exercise.

Classes kicked off in November with the goal of increasing knowledge about heart disease and empowering seniors to take control of their heart health. Christine reported a high turn out for classes and says seniors appeared eager to learn and participate. We find this highly encouraging and are optimistic that this program will continue to positively impact our seniors and their heart health.

Thank you to our wonderful partner, Kaiser Permanente, for making this program possible. For more information about American Heart Month, click here.


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