Research shows senior center participants have higher levels of good health, social enrichment and life satisfaction. According to AARP, nearly 90% of seniors wish to stay in their homes for as long as possible. This makes senior centers an essential gateway to the aging network, connecting older adults to vital services that help them stay healthy and independent. Our goal is to build a network of comprehensive, sophisticated senior centers across San Diego that meet the needs of elder adults in our communities — places to socialize, exercise, engage in community action, and access critical resources. This means enhancing existing centers and, when necessary, building new facilities.
Senior orphans are an emerging group of San Diegans who need our support. We call them “orphans” because for various reasons, including lack of nearby relatives, never having children, never getting married, divorce, or even in some cases, the death of a child, these elderly men and women are alone and have no one to care for them as they age. Through the power of philanthropy and partnerships, we can create a better future for senior orphans by ensuring they have someone they can turn to and trust.
We are committed to supporting agencies with outstanding senior programs, especially those with an emphasis on elder orphans. In order to meet the growing demands of San Diego’s senior population, our nonprofit partners need funding for additional staff and services. Our grantmaking is focused on helping these programs succeed and grow.
Currently less than 2% of all private philanthropic dollars in the United States go to senior programs and causes. We aim to change that, by informing, inspiring and engaging the donor community on senior issues in San Diego. Our goal is to provide current and long-term resources to organizations that improve the lives of local seniors, and to create a permanent endowment that will benefit seniors for generations to come. We believe that many members of our community are unaware of the opportunities to support the burgeoning population of older adults in our region.
Senior Civic Participation
Senior civic participation in all areas of our society is vital to the future and wellbeing of San Diego. We will support organizations and efforts centered on issues that directly impact seniors, but more importantly, impact our community as a whole. Examples of this include intergenerational mentorship programs, volunteerism, voting and other opportunities that allow older adults to put their skills and experience to good use.
The fastest-growing segment of the homeless population is elder adults. In 2018, adults age 55 and older comprised 35% of the homeless population in San Diego County, according to the annual Point-In-Time Count. As the local senior population stands to double in the next decade, the number of unsheltered seniors is also expected to rise dramatically. We plan to support programs and agencies working to combat homelessness among San Diego’s senior population and the many issues surrounding this public crisis.
At the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation, we aim to become a thought leader in the local aging network and to influence public policies and procedures as they relate to the health and wellness of seniors. We will develop a concerted effort to engage San Diego’s corporate, government and university leadership on the impact of an aging society; identify opportunities within the county and local municipal governance for public and private infrastructure development; encourage the municipal and county government to further develop planning for the rising senior population; and act as catalyst in strengthening public/private partnerships.
Research and Education
Through research and education about the ever-changing needs of seniors and senior issues, we will consistently look for new and innovative ideas that improve the quality of life for seniors in our region. With our location in one of the nation’s most thriving biotech cities, the potential for partnerships and cutting-edge discovery is boundless.