It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. When my husband Ernest had two surgeries, my friend suggested that I enroll him for adult day care so that he could recuperate in an exercise program and also enjoy some company. That was when I found out that there was no such facility in San Leandro.
So when I was appointed commissioner of the Commission on Aging for the City of San Leandro, CA, I proposed that we establish an Adult Day Care Center in our city. The other commissioners agreed. It took us several years to bring this idea to fruition as we could not find any non-profit organization to take up the project and no one was willing to fund it. We spent years writing to the City Council, to the Mayor and to anyone who would listen to us. Finally, we approached Wilma Chan, the Alameda County Supervisor, who convened a meeting of likely stakeholders. Organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association of East Bay, East Bay Community Service and the Center of Elder Independence were represented at the meeting.
Finally, the Center of Elder Independence agreed to open a Medicare/Medicaid/Private Pay Program of All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) Program Center. The program consists of an Adult Day Care Center with a medical clinic, among other services. This program helps seniors to live in the community instead of living in a nursing home. To get this project going was a long, uphill task. It was a team effort of the Senior Commission and I am glad I was part of this team. The Center of Elder Independence recently signed a lease in a facility close to Kaiser Hospital in San Leandro. It will be a legacy gift of the Senior Commission to the seniors of San Leandro, CA.