Public Health

Senior Spotlight: Volunteers Help the OMI’s Hungry

Judy Goddess/Ingleside-Excelsior Light

Reframing Aging

The Older Women’s League devoted its September meeting to discussing ageism.

“How you frame aging makes a difference. One of the first steps we can take is to acknowledge the existence of ageism. Do you see older people as sad, with no possibilities, or as bringing new opportunities for growth, contribution and self expression? When you view aging as almost wholly negative, the aging process becomes something to be resisted or battled.”

Using materials developed by the Frame-Works Institute, the facilitator, Diane Krantz, led the 60 attendees through a series of “ageism awareness exercises” to help us surface our own internal and perhaps unrealized biases, prejudices and negative ideas about aging.

Rev. Glenda Hope, chair of OWL’s board of directors, said that organization is forming a consciousness raising group to carry on this discussion.

To learn more, check the OWL website or call (415)712-1695.

What Are You Eligible For?

Jennifer Chang makes her office at the OMI Senior Center located at 65 Beverly St. Chang is one of 12 Aging and Disability Resource Center staff stationed at senior and community centers throughout the city.

Chang helps seniors apply for housing vouchers, get Clipper cards, complete applications for paratransit, apply for food and nutrition programs, find a convenient food pantry, apply for in-home care, translate from Chinese to English and vice versa, or advocate for the services you feel you’ve been unjustly denied.

You do not need to meet income guidelines or be a member of the OMI Senior Center to receive help from Chang. You can call her at (415) 334-5558 or you can just stop in any weekday between 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., though Chang said it’s best to call first.

Breast Cancer Luncheon

Sixty seniors attended the recent Breast Cancer Luncheon hosted by the Lutheran Church of Our Savior.

Barbara Tate, LCOS senior program director and coordinator of the Breast Cancer Support Group, explained that in addition to the annual luncheon, LCOS hosts a monthly meeting of breast cancer survivors. The group supports women who have been newly diagnosed as well as women in recovery. “We encourage women to get their mammograms. Occasionally we’ve even covered some of their expenses.”

If you are looking for support or just want more information, call Tate at (650) 738-5705.

Senior Volunteers in the Community

Shopping can be difficult for seniors and adults with disabilities.

While they may still enjoy cooking, they have problems getting to a store and carrying heavy food bags home. That’s where the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and the OMI Neighborhood Volunteers comes in.

Every week, the Food Bank delivers pallets of fresh and dried food to I.T. Bookman Center, where the Volunteers, a project of the Community Living Campaign, sort the groceries and pack grocery bags for delivery to the 71 homebound families or their list. (Low-income is currently defined as at or below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Line.) Though the volunteers begin work by 7:30 a.m. there’s a lot of friendly banter and spirits are high.

The 2016 DAAS needs assessment for nutrition programs estimated that 16 percent (16,335) of SF seniors had incomes below the federal poverty. The report noted, however, that given the high cost of living in San Francisco, a more accurate estimate of persons whose incomes made it difficult to meet their needs totaled 42,038 seniors, seniors with incomes up to 200 percent of the poverty threshold.

By 9:45, the bags have been loaded in the volunteers’ cars for delivery.

On occasion, volunteers leave the bags at a senior’s front door, most often, though, they carry the bags into the senior’s kitchen. “That allows us time to check out that they’re okay. Sometimes they ask for help in finding services. If they’re not well, we call a relative or a caseworker,” said Deb Glen, program coordinator.

“I look forward to seeing everyone on my route. I’m looking out for them and they’re looking for me. They’re my seniors. It’s a treat for me to be able to give something to people,” said Saralyn Archie, who began volunteering several years ago.

If you know a senior or an adult with either a permanent or temporary disability who could benefit from this program, call the Community Living Campaign at (415) 821-1003 x104.

DAAS Survey

If you are one of the 1 in 4 San Francisco residents who is a senior or an adult with disabilities, or if you’re helping care for an aging adult or someone living with a chronic illness, then you’ll want to complete this survey.

The SF Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) wants to better understand and serve the needs of aging adult and adults with disabilities.

Your feedback will inform future decisions about funding priorities and program investments. The survey is available in multiple languages, and your responses are confidential. This survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.

The survey is only open until December 8, so please take it now. Also, if your friends or loved ones are aging adults, adults with a disability, or someone who helps care for those individuals, please feel free to send this survey to them! DAAS wants to hear from as many people as possible.

Senior Spotlight columnist Judy Goddess can be reached at or (415) 759-1994.

Like our journalism? Become a supporter! Visit to sign up.

Popular Articles

To Top