Good Neighbors: Tricia Cardillo

Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors who volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Tricia as our 2017 Good Neighbor Honoree for our Goldsmith Vision and Hearing Initiative.

Tricia “encourages participants who have never been on a computer before to overcome their fear of the unknown in a supportive and nonjudgmental way”

Tricia Cardillo shows clients at the SteppingStone Presentation Adult Day Health Center how to use the Internet. What she likes most about her task are the person she meets. “The participants know my name now and they know we’re going to work together.  They look forward to being with me, and I look forward to being with them. I make it a point to walk around and greet everyone when I come in,” said Tricia. 

SteppingStone serves older adults and seniors with multiple chronic conditions. All but one client is funded through Medi-Cal Optional Benefit program. When the government raised the eligibility requirements for the Option program, SteppingStone began serving clients who require heavier care, explained Nicole Clause, the Center’s director. “We offer medication management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, mental health services, and personal care, as well as our activities program.”

Tricia volunteers as a computer coach, coming in every Wednesday morning to help clients use the center’s one computer. They check their email, connect to Facebook, and watch their favorite TV programs. Some participants use the computer to search job opportunities.

“They want to be aware of the job market even though they know they can’t get a job. Others enjoy completing surveys, or playing word games online.  Mahjong is very popular.”

Because many participants are vision impaired, the font on the keyboard and the monitor are greatly enlarged. Though the monitor has touch screen access, some activities require typing. “I encourage them to do their own typing, although they do lean on me. I know stretching (to touch the letters) is good for them.”

Some enjoy the matchmaking sites.

Tricia usually stands ready to trouble shoot when people are on the computer, but this is one time she makes it a practice to step away to “give them some privacy and a sense of independence.”

She doesn’t step away when someone goes on YouTube. In fact, she makes sure to be on hand.

“I don’t want them to be isolated, so when someone listens to music or a program, I listen too – we have double headphones – than we can talk about it.”

It was out of concern for hearing-impaired seniors that Tricia requested the center purchase those double headphones – just one of the reasons she was nominated for the Good Neighbor Award, said LaNay Eastman, the connector for the Community Living Campaign’s Vision & Hearing Initiative. 

Tricia began volunteering at SteppingStone in April 2016, soon after she and her husband moved here from Toronto for her husband’s job. She does not hold an H-1B visa, so she volunteers. “I‘d like to work, I was the program coordinator in a long term care home, something like SteppingStone. I wanted to stay active in my field, so I volunteer here.”

In describing Tricia, Center Director Clause wrote “she is patient, kind and respectful to all.  She encourages participants who have never been on a computer before to overcome their fear of the unknown in a supportive and nonjudgmental way. … We appreciate and applaud Tricia’s faithful volunteer service here every Wednesday morning.”

Community Living Campaign’s Goldsmith Vision and Hearing Initiative works to reduce isolation for seniors with hearing and/or vision challenges by providing accessible technology training, neighborhood outreach, and increasing accessibility of meetings and events. The initiative is supported by a generous grant from the United Way of the Bay Area and was developed by CLC Connector LaNay Eastman. For more information or to volunteer, contact LaNay at  or by calling 415-821-1003, ext. 111.

Good Neighbors: Randolph James

“What God puts in you, you have to do,” Randolph said, “I just need to help others.”

Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors who volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Randolph as our 2017 Good Neighbor Honoree for the Bayview Home Delivered Grocery Network.

Randolph James was one of the founders of the Home Delivered Grocery program in the Bayview, and has volunteered ever since. Before his knees began giving out, he both bagged groceries and delivered them, now he limits his involvement to bagging groceries.

Randolph’s work with the food program is part of his commitment to the neighborhood: taking care of the people who helped raise him up. Randolph admits he made a lot of trouble when he was a youngster but that was then, now he’s paying back, caring for the families who helped raised him.

Randolph has been clean and sober for 35 years and found his way back to God. “I want to help Bayview anyway I can,” Randolph said.

The Grocery program brings groceries from the San Francisco Marin Food Bank to 75 Bayview seniors and people with disabilities who are homebound or are otherwise unable to stand in line for groceries at a Food Pantry. It has started a pilot project in one housing complex in Visitacion Valley. Before the expansion, the program had five or six volunteer baggers and four drivers. To meet the need in the Bayview and beyond, they’ll need more volunteers. “We need more.  I wish young people were more interested,” he said.

Randolph volunteers through HP-UNITI (Having Pride Understanding the Needs in Troubled Inner City Communities), an organization of Christian men and women concerned about what is happening to the disintegration of low-income communities in the Bayview. HP-UNITI partners with Community Living Campaign to deliver groceries in the Bayview. This program is HP-UNITI’s primary effort at this point. Once they receive their nonprofit status, they hope to be able to provide economic opportunities and education programs for Bayview families.

Chester and Randolph consult on grocery delivery routes.

“Delivering groceries is more than carrying packages up the steps.  When we deliver the groceries,” Randolph explained, “we ask, ‘What else do you need? What else do you want us to search out?’  Then we look for resources and help the senior get what she needs. Some agencies that should be serving the community don’t reach out, and HP-UNITI sees its job as making sure those services are brought to the community.”

But Randolph doesn’t limit his advocacy to the 75 families already receiving food: when he’s out walking in the community, he’ll stop seniors and ask them: “Are you receiving food from a food bank or elsewhere? People in Bayview are prisoners in their own homes, they’re afraid to step out, so many bad things have happened in the neighborhood. If they’re not receiving food, I try to sign them up. Sometimes they’re suspicious of us. I can understand that.”

Randolph commutes from Hayward, where he’s active in his local church and is a crossing guard for the elementary school. While his contact with the neighborhood children is limited, he admits to trying to give “light weight nuggets of hope to the children.”

“What God puts in you, you have to do,” Randolph said, smiling, “I just need to help others.

Community Living Campaign has Food Delivery Networks in three neighborhoods: the Bayview, Oceanside-Merced-Ingleside, and Park Merced/University Park. The program works in concert with the San Francisco Marin Food Bank and local partners to connect isolated neighbors to food and much more. The Home Delivered Grocery Networks are funded through the San Francisco Department of Aging & Adult Services.  

New Aging 360 Workshop Brings ‘Delight’ Factor to Growing Older


 
“It is important to look at the ‘delight’ factor not just the safety factor when making changes to one’s home. As we get older we spend more time at home and our home has to fit us like a glove.” — Susanne Stadler, Co-Founder of AHWGO.

We’re honored to sponsor an exciting new workshop series produced by our friends, At Home With Growing Older. The series, called Aging 360, is designed to help older adults age with “safety and delight.” The three workshops were a huge success.

At Home With Growing Older launched in 2009 as a fiscally sponsored project of Community Living Campaign and we are thrilled to see their vision truly take off. They’re now ready to spin off and become their own nonprofit organization. We can’t wait to see what exciting things they will do next!


BERKELEY, CA:  At Home With Growing Older (AHWGO), a Bay Area nonprofit is launching a creative workshop series, ‘Aging 360’ that teaches participants how to turn their home into an ally that supports a healthy aging experience with safety and delight.

The first of these workshops is being held in San Francisco’s Outer Mission neighborhood, (Cayuga) at Bethel Community Center, 2525 Alemany at Ottawa in a three-part series, June 20th, 22nd, 27th from 10 am to 11:30am. This series is being sponsored by the Community Living Campaign, San Francisco.

AHWGO developed this workshop as a response to a growing need for private homes, from apartments to houses, to adapt to changing personal needs as one ages and to unlock the potential of one’s home as a resource for healthy aging.

  • The number of Californians age 65 and older will grow from 13 percent today to 19 percent by 2030 – rising from 5 million to 8.6 million.
  • A large portion of older Americans cannot afford costly retirement communities or 24/7 care yet do not qualify for assistance from government or nonprofit programs.2

“It is important to look at the ‘delight’ factor not just the safety factor when making changes to one’s home. As we get older we spend more time at home and our home has to fit us like a glove”.  Susanne Stadler, Co-Founder of AHWGO.

The workshop is being taught by thr interdisciplinary AHWGO team, an architect, industrial designer and geriatric social worker. Participants will learn about age-friendly design beyond grab bars and ramps and engage in creative exercises that will allow them to re-envision their home and make improvements that fit their personal short and long term needs.

About At Home With Growing Older: AHWGO was founded in 2009 by an architect and social worker as an interdisciplinary and intergenerational platform to gather professionals, thinkers, activists, and academics interested in more deeply considering the tremendous challenge to “being at home with growing older” with more information, awareness, imagination, and pro-active, cross-disciplinary inquiry.

AHWGO is part of a growing movement that promotes integrated solutions focusing on the home and its context, rather than an institutional environment, as the major contributor to healthy aging.

AHWGO sponsors monthly, interdisciplinary learning forums with the goal to spark conversations and encourage collaboration among disciplines leading to tools and services across life stages towards being ‘at home with growing older’.

AHWGO is developing creative, educational tools such as Aging 360 that engage seniors in being the agents for their own aging experience.

The organization serves individuals, organizations, corporations, cities and neighborhoods.

If you are interested in becoming an ally of our movement, participate in our workshops  or attend one of our free monthly forums in Berkeley and San Francisco, please sign up on our website.

Good Neighbors: Sara Taylor

Sara Taylor, 2017 Good Neighbor Honoree

Sara explains “the things that come up in class are so meaningful. I always end each class saying, ‘this is the best class ever,’ and I mean it.”

Each year, our Good Neighbor Awards honor some of the dedicated neighbors who volunteer their time to help seniors and people with disabilities get the resources and support they need to age and thrive in their own homes and neighborhoods. We are delighted to honor Sara as our 2017 Good Neighbor Honoree for the Connections for Healthy Aging program.

Sara Taylor, a practicing attorney, has shared her knowledge on completing financial power of attorney forms and advance health care directives with Connections for Healthy Aging participants since the start of the program. “I think CLC and this program are fabulous,” Sara said, “and the classes are something I can do to help others.”

Sara attributes her desire to be of service to growing up in a small town in Montana. People there, she explained, do whatever they can to help others.  There’s a sense of community. And building community is what the Community Living Campaign (CLC) is all about.

Sara smiled, reflecting on the workshops she teaches for us. Every class is different, she explained.  Some are homogeneous, others are not; some come from large families, others don’t have families or they’re not close with their relatives; some have close friends, others are alone; some don’t have much money, others have more. The situations are so diverse, and “the things that come up in class are so meaningful.  I always end each class saying, ‘this is the best class ever,’ and I mean it.”

Sara graduated from college with a degree in education, which she used to find her first job teaching high school English and history.  “But I wanted a deeper connection with the students, and that’s difficult with classes of 30.”  So she returned to school, this time to the Pacific School of Religion. 

“I needed a job to afford Seminary, so I began working for an attorney,” Sara explained. 

Somewhere along the way, as she was typing yet another draft of a long brief, Sara turned to her boss, and said “your earlier draft was better.”  While he was initially uncomfortable with her criticism, he eventually took her advice.  But he did more than that.  Realizing that Sara had a good mind for the law, her boss paid for her to attend some law classes. 

Several years of experience and some classes later, Sara “sat for the Bar.”  That’s a process, she explained, where you can take the Bar without completing all the courses.  Sara passed and received her license, “if I had known the odds against that (passing the Bar without taking classes), I wouldn’t have done it,” she said.  Once Sara earned her license, she opened her own practice, mainly handling trusts and estates.

Linda Silver, who initially coordinated the Connections for Healthy Aging program with program founder Marcia Peterzell, recruited Sara to teach the legal component of the program.  Linda had worked with Sara in Marin and knew she had the perfect skill set for this program

In nominating Sara as a Good Neighbor Honoree Lizette Martinez who now coordinates the program, wrote, “Sara is an excellent volunteer who has given countless hours helping San Franciscans empower themselves. She brings so much to every class she teaches. The people who attend her classes keep talking about it afterwards.”

While Sara, who lives in Novato has begun reducing her time in San Francisco, she intends to still volunteer with CLC.  “CLC and the Connections for Healthy Aging program are fabulous.  I receive as much as I give,” she said. 

Her students, and all of us at Community Living Campaign, are grateful for her commitment.

To learn more about Healthy Aging workshops or to share your expertise with seniors and people with disabilities, please contact Lizettte at lizette@sfcommunityliving.org or 415-821-1003, ext. 108. The Connections for Healthy Aging workshops are funded through generous grants from United Way of the Bay Area, the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, and the Long Foundation. Many classes are available outside of San Francisco through our partner, California Alliance for Retired Americans

Budget Advocacy Continues to Boost Funding for Senior and Disability Services

Coalition efforts increased funding to match the growing number and needs of seniors and adults with disabilities.  The Dignity Fund Coalition, the Budget Justice Coalition, the Coalition of Agencies Serving the Elderly, the Human Services Network were some of the many groups organizing to see their priorities included in the budget.  An early hearing called by Supervisor Norman Yee provided a platform for testimony filled with touching stories and hard data about what is happening for seniors and adults with disabilities in San Francisco.  Advocacy with individual supervisors and the final budget hearing capped the season.  The Dignity Fund Coalition chose the theme Summer of Love – 50 Years Later to call attention to the need to support those who helped make the City the compassionate, creative, caring, inclusive place it is now.   

The Dignity Fund Coalition will continue to be the place to track the implementation of existing funding and to lay the groundwork for the needs assessment and planning for future years.  The Dignity Fund Coalition meets the 4th Wednesday of the month at Independent Living Resource Center at 825 Howard Street and the meetings are open.  

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