[Senior Moments] Support for Staying in Your Community

By Stephanie Vendig, Ledger Columnist

StephanieVendigIt is fair to say that as we age, and develop more limitations, most of us find it hard to think of moving into a retirement community or facility, having to downsize, or leaving friends behind. We may also be faced with moving, particularly if we are living alone.

According to the government’s Administration of Aging Department, at least 46% of women over 75 do live alone. But, if there are easily accessible resources in the community that supports living at home, moving may not seem necessary.

As one of our 90-year-old members at the Griffith Park Adult Community Center said when she was forced recently to give up her driver’s license: “Why am I still hanging around if I can’t drive?”

At the center, there was someone who helped her fill out the application for City Ride enabling her to consider Los Angeles’ taxi service or the transportation service of St. Barnabas Hollywood Senior Center.

The federal government’s Older American’s Act of 1965 was designed to provide those supports within local communities. In Los Angeles, funding from to the Dept. of Aging is provided for communitybased services to seniors and their caregivers.

Sixteen multipurpose centers are located throughout Los Angeles. These centers serve as community focal points for senior services, such as case management, lunch programs at different locations in the community, home-delivered meals and door to door transportation.

The multipurpose center in our area is St. Barnabas Hollywood Senior Center.  The center used to be housed at the Assistance League facility on St. Andrew’s Place, but it is now in a new location at Bethany Towers Retirement Community at 1745 N. Gramercy Place in Hollywood. This type of collaboration between a senior center and a retirement community is one of the first of its kind in our community. Bethany Towers residents and community residents alike have access to all services of the Hollywood Senior Center.

In addition, there is a new series of wellness and longevity classes, workshops, and special events at St. Barnabas adding to their schedule of health education, computer Education and exercise programs.

There is also a shuttle to St. Barnabas from Ralphs Market at Western and Hollywood Blvd. Call (323) 957-2222 for information.

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