An important but often overlooked sector of the San Diego community is vulnerable seniors. Many of our neighbors that are reaching the golden years of theirs lives need care that can be demanding and expensive, especially where there is no family to help them. Fortunately, the San Diego based organization, Serving Seniors, has stepped in to provide the assistance they need.

Since 1970, Serving Seniors has been providing critical services and programs to low-income seniors in the San Diego community. Their far-reaching impact cannot be understated. In fact, Serving Seniors provides more than 640,000 nutritious meals and coordinates services for over 5,000 individuals each year. This is an impressive reach, thanks to the leadership of President and CEO Paul Downey, who has focused on improving their services, and their mark on the community for an astounding 24 years and counting. His passion and perseverance have allowed the organization to vastly expand throughout San Diego.

The organization’s main goals are to keep low income San Diego seniors healthy and independent, even when the odds are stacked against them. But how are these initiatives achieved? For one, Serving Seniors’ Gary & Mary West Senior Wellness Center plays a large role. Serving as their flagship facility, the center is home to their programs and services including free meals, activities and access to other resources. It is open 365 days a year to ensure that individuals receive the assistance they need, whenever they need.

To achieve their first goal, health, Serving Seniors focuses on providing meals. Not only are these meals coordinated with registered dieticians to ensure they meet the unique dietary needs of seniors, but they offer special dining menus. Older adults in need can receive these meals by visiting one of the 15 sites across the county where they serve breakfast and lunch, or through their delivery program for homebound seniors. In addition to nutrition, the organization also has a care team that provides health education, mental health services, emergency assistance, and more.

To achieve their second goal, helping vulnerable senior citizens maintain their independence, Serving Seniors offers programs focused on social skills, community volunteering, art, exercise classes and more, allowing them to lead thriving and satisfying lives. Serving Seniors also provides two types of housing support: one for homeless seniors in need of transitional housing and another for those in need of a permanent residence. These permanent residences are designed to be as convenient as possible, allowing residents to easily access transportation, pharmacies and shopping.

Serving Seniors does not stop at providing care for seniors, they are actively advocating for change in public policy to help protect other older adults from needing help in the first place.

Help make San Diego a better place for our senior citizens to live. Donations to the organization will help them continue their life-changing services and serve many more in the future.