Swap Meet #3 Focuses on Assistive Technology and Fun

The 3rd Swap Meet brought together old and new partners to share information about ways that assistive technology can help make the internet available to all, regardless of hearing, vision or other disabilities. The video cameras from Tree Ring Production and our in-house video leader were rolling, and we hope to have some videos soon that present highlights soon. We appreciated the great overviews of assistive technology services available through the San Francisco Public Library, the Lighthouse for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California, and the Independent Living Resource Center. And were reminded of how ReliaTech as a non-profit can provide low cost computers and internet access. CTN gave a demonstration of Skype, a great tool for how to “call” distant family members and video conference for  free across the miles. We also heard about efforts to create a Tech Council in San Francisco and launch a new Keep Us Connected campaign to increase paid and volunteer support in computer labs across the city. Stay tuned for a kick-off of this year’s campaign.

You can learn more about resources for those of us with vision and hearing loss at the Resource Page on this blog, provide in part from a grant from the Francis Goldsmith Initiative in partnership with the United Way of the Bay Area.

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Annual Breast Cancer Support Luncheon is Enjoyable and Informative

There was plenty of information to take home and share with friends.

There was plenty of information to take home and share with friends.

The Breast Cancer Support Group unveiled this year’s beautiful community quilt, which featured members’ digital photos.

The Breast Cancer Support Group unveiled their beautiful community quilt, which features members’ digital photos.

The LCOS Breast Cancer Support Group, located in San Francisco’s OMI neighborhood, held it’s annual luncheon at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior on October 16. The group meets regularly to support one another, and has organized activities including community quilts and healthy eating classes for its members.

The luncheon included an informative presentation by guest speaker Pamela Ratliff, MPA from Stanford Cancer Institute’s Community Partnership Program. She focuses on overcoming the cancer disparities such as the higher rate of breast cancer deaths African American women as compared to all other ethnic groups. Pamela encouraged everyone to be advocates for their own health – she covered everything from how to stay healthy, screening for breast cancer, and information for people currently battling the disease.

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets on the third Thursdays of the month, For more information please contact the Community Living Campaign at 415–821-1003 or Barbara Tate at 415– 505‑5899 or the-lcos@sbcglobal.net.


Connections for Health Aging Workshops Promote Partnerships

Over the past few years, we have hosted our Connections for Health Aging workshops 11 times in diverse communities across San Francisco.

Thanks to support from the May and Stanley Smith Trust, we are able to focus on training new workshop leaders and on adapting IMG_5663the curriculum and material to “go on the road” with the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA).   In early December, we will be host a workshop with 18 CARA board members and leaders, to get them ready to host a version of the Connections for Health Aging Workshops with at least 4 CARA Action Teams (CATS) around the state.   We kicked this off with outreach at the October CARA Forums in Richmond, Fresno and Buena Park.

At the same time, we are working to find local folks who can help us expand the number of trainings here in San Francisco.   If this is something that would interest you, let us know.

Our recent workshop in partnership with San Francisco Village has further confirmed our belief that participants’ ability to take and to use the information and insights is enhanced and strengthened if we introduce the training into the life of an ongoing group — faith community, supported housing site, neighborhood group or Village community.   In our partnership with CARA, we will be introducing the model to local groups that meet monthly and are committed to social change.  It is our hope that these workshops will strengthen relationships and help inform action on issues like improving hospital discharge practices and increasing advocacy for local services and supports.

Our next local workshop will be in partnership with Bayview Hunter’s Point Multi-Service Senior Program at Rosa Park Apartments at 1111 Buchanan (off Golden Gate Avenue). The dates for the 4 part series are the following Thursdays — January 8, 15, 22 and February 5 from 10:00 to 1:00.

If you want to do some advance homework, much of the material  from the workshop is available for download from the Resources Page of this blog, including Vial of Life material.

If you are interested in learning more, perhaps being a workshop leader, having your organization partner with CLC for an up-coming training or signing up for the January session, contact Marcia Peterzell at marcia.peterzell@comcast.net or call (415) 359‑1816.   And enjoy a few pictures from our most recent workshop, thanks to the hospitality and support from staff and leaders at San Francisco Village.

A True “Community Connector”

The Community Living Campaign was fortunate to have Deloris McGee as an early staff member who helped create this role of _DSC2726Community Connector, which has been one of the hallmarks of our work in San Francisco.    Who is a Community Connector?  A local leader, often a senior or a person with a disability, who works to make their neighborhood and the wider community a better place to grow old.   They look for opportunities to connect neighbors to one another; they see the gifts and talents of those around them; they call upon their friends and colleagues to help out; they have a vision for what an aging and disability friendly neighborhood would look like.  For the past seven year, Deloris used her skills and connections to develop support networks for individual seniors in her community, establish a neighborhood-based grocery delivery program that has become an example for other neighborhoods, help develop a breast cancer support group and annual luncheon, a weekly OMI Fog Walkers walking group, the annual Aging While Black Forum,  annual holiday turkey give-aways, Karaoke nights, computer classes and so much more.   Like so many other talented older adults, Deloris is leaving San Francisco.  She is returning to her family home in Mississippi.   But she leaves behind a legacy in her community and a role model for future Connectors.  Her community, with support from CLC, hosted a thank you party for the “Woman with a Heart of Gold”.    Deloris promises to return to visit and after a short rest, to continue “connecting people” in her hometown.   We have prepared a memory book for Deloris with these and other pictures and momentos of her time with Community Living Campaign.    If you have good wishes or comments you would like to share, feel free to post on this blog and we will send along.  Thank you , Deloris!

If you would like to be a Community Connector in your neighborhood, let us know.

It Was An Honor (and Fun, Too)!

CLC_2014_Program_CovWe had a great time celebrating our work together and honoring Hadley Dale Hall on September 18th with the Norma Satten Community Service Award.  Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed — sponsors, auction and raffle donors, performers, volunteers, staff, and the many people who came to share in the fun. Funds raised through this annual event help support our programs and partnerships as we work to build aging– and disability-friendly neighborhoods.

If you would like to learn more about Hadley, the event sponsors or the Community Living Campaign, you can view a copy of the evening’s program book: 2014 Norma Satten Award Program Book (PDF, 14MB)