WHAT: Senior Community Centers will host the quarterly meeting of the California Commission on Aging (CCOA) at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. The agency was chosen for the meeting because of its nationally-recognized, innovative model of providing health, wellness and nutritional services for low-income seniors in San Diego. In addition to the commission’s official board meeting, they will receive a tour, eat lunch with Center participants, and host a public meeting to present findings and hear from seniors about issues important to seniors now and in the future. It is an opportunity to share Senior Community Centers’ “best practices” to be adopted throughout California.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: California has the fastest growing population of seniors in the U.S., with an estimate of 10 million by 2030 (21% of the projected population). Currently, more than 40% of seniors living in San Diego do not have enough income to meet basic needs such as food, housing, medical care and transportation according to the Elder Index. Statewide, that number is closer to 50% lacking adequate resources. The CCOA provides input to state lawmakers on an array of aging policy issues.
The focus of the San Diego meeting is to hear from “the trenches,” particularly what is currently being done and what is needed to support for caregivers, like Senior Community Centers and other individuals and organizations in the region. Senior Community Centers will share their best practices of health, wellness and nutrition services they provide in a cost-efficient and impactful manner 365 days of the year. They are among a handful of organizations in the U.S. that offers an array of services under one roof. Government funding is dwindling and Senior Community Centers has created important collaborations with community and academic organizations to care for low-income seniors.
WHERE: Senior Community Centers’ Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, 1525 4th Avenue, San Diego (92101).
WHEN: Tues., June 28, 2011 – Best time to cover between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. for interviews and to tour center and hundreds seniors in the center. See entire timeline below:
9:30 a.m. – Tour of Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center
10 a.m. to 12 noon – Commission Board Meeting
12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. – Commission members have lunch with seniors in dining hall
12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. – Commission Board Meeting
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Public Hearing on Senior Caregivers
* Paul Downey, CEO and President, Senior Community Centers. He can speak to the model of care currently offered to San Diego’s low-income seniors and the effective community collaborations.
* Pam Smith, Director, San Diego County Aging and Independence Services (AIS)
* Sandra Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, California Commission on Aging
* Harvard L. Staggs, Chair, California Commission on Aging
MEDIA CONTACTS: Arika Daniels (949) 338-6672 / Denise Scatena (619) 218-4889.