Senior citizens face many problems, including illness and diminished capacity for independence and self-care, economic problems, difficulties in obtaining affordable quality housing, and often loneliness and isolation. Those who are immigrants often have these problems, compounded by language and cultural barriers.
This sector of our community receives the Center’s primary focus and is provided with a wide range of services through our Senior Programs. A complete up-to-date bank of information relevant to their needs is maintained, and cooperative relationships have been established with other centers and agencies that serve seniors. In this way, this special group in our community has access to all resources that will improve their quality of life.
This program provides scheduling, transportation, translation and interpretation, as well as advocacy for the seniors by trained professionals and volunteers. In this manner, seniors can avail themselves of those resources vital to their well-being. Year in and year out, about 4,000 escort trips are administered covering more than 20,000 miles. Most trips are used to assist seniors to utilize the services of health professionals and agencies that they otherwise would be unable to access.
This is the social club sponsored by the Center that serves as the vehicle for a multitude of recreational and social activities. Its membership is nearly 500 seniors who plan and participate in activities such as sightseeing trips, birthday parties, luncheons, dances, arts and crafts, as well as a variety of other activities and projects carried out both in the Center and on outings.
In their desire to be productive and help support their Center, the members participate actively in fundraising drives for the organization. They also devote their energies to planning and evaluating the various programs and services that the Center provides.
For those with serious problems in the areas of mental health, family or individual functioning, counseling services are provided by professional clinical social workers having the special cultural and language expertise to facilitate problem solving.
Begun in 1989 with a grant from Santa Clara County, the Nutrition Program provides as many as 110 seniors with a delicious hot lunch and an afternoon of camaraderie five times each week. This program fulfills one of POSSO’s long-range goals set many years ago, and is one of the most-enjoyed by the seniors.
The need for this program surpasses POSSO’s government subsidy. POSSO funds the additional meals through fundraising rather than restricting the number of seniors who can partake in this program.
In addition to the Second Harvest Food Bank Brown Bag Program, federal surplus food commodities are also distributed to those low- income seniors who apply and qualify for this benefit.
Through the efforts of our staff and volunteers, thousands of dollars were returned to seniors in Homeowner’s and Renter’s Assistance and Renter’s Credit Programs offered by the State of California. Furthermore, financial assistance was provided to seniors through our ensuring their participation in the state’s HEAP utility assistance program and other available subsidies.