When Francis was forced to be homebound, hot meals and taxis were at her door.

Hi, my name is Francis

The services offered by my local senior center keep me healthy and feeling young – I am only 96 years old.

One thing people don’t always realize is how important it is in life to be recognized or even get feedback from other people. As you get older, you don’t get too many accolades or pats on the back. Without a sense of accomplishment, a person can get depressed and even fall ill. The senior center offers me a chance to volunteer, work with others and give back. I have no doubt it helps keep me healthy.

Through state programs available to people like me, I receive taxi vouchers that make it easy to travel to the senior center. There, I can socialize and feel needed, exercise and learn better nutrition, and get healthy meals. The center has kept me healthy and let me continue to live independently.

At my age, cooking is very difficult — the stove and I don’t get along. Recently, I became homebound for a while and had to have my meals delivered. Otherwise, I’d have had to snack to get by. On top of that, the isolation became depressing, even with visits for a few hours every day from my home nurse. The experience showed me not only how important the senior center is to my mental health, but how vital the services offered outside of the center are, such as travel vouchers and home-delivered meals. It’s amazing how much better I feel now that I can go back to the center and be with my friends. The center’s services allow me to have this active, happy life.

I’ve been fortunate, but I know the support services I’ve received are not available to everyone. I hope future generations will be provided with the same help I’ve had — it’s been a blessing.

Long-term services and supports along with the workforce required is a vital part of our community keeping seniors healthy.

Long-term services and supports are a crucial part of the community, keeping aging Californians healthy. As our state’s population ages, the system is ill-prepared to sustain the types of programs and trained workforce necessary to provide the services and supports. As a community, we must come together to raise awareness and show the need to strengthen these programs across the state. Help ensure that future generations will receive the care and support that Francis relies on. Help California Age On. Rage On.