Senior Connect: Improving Access to Services for San Diego Seniors

There is no shortage of great programs throughout San Diego designed to meet the needs of our growing senior population, only a shortage of access to those programs.

I propose we change that with SENIOR CONNECT.

When I was the first Associate Director of the high-tech start-up incubator, CONNECT, we helped create great innovation companies in tech and life sciences by connecting them to people, capital, and technology.

I want to do the same for seniors by connecting them in a seamless and innovative way to whatever resources they need. We can do this with technology by providing the training they need at the places they need it. 

Technology has now become a “kitchen table issue” for seniors. Seniors want and need to help themselves, but some have been left behind by the very fast-paced technology originally designed to help them. The number one fear for many seniors is “Loss of Independence.”  I want SENIOR CONNECT to provide senior citizens with the skills to utilize technology effectively and maximize their own independence.

Also, seniors need to be able to use that technology to deal with all parts of their lives—interacting with their children and grandchildren, ordering medicine, dealing with their insurance company, etc.

SENIOR CONNECT will help make that happen.

How? By CONNECTING SENIORS TO:

  • A designated “Seniors Desk” in the Council Office; staffed by a human voice who will answer, direct, and assist in providing access to free Internet training, as well as help with issues about rent, housing, transportation and caregiver respite.
  • The technology training resources available through the County’s Technology and Aging Coalition, such as free or low-cost computer and cell phone classes.
  • Utilities resources, such as 2-1-1, to help set up lifeline accounts for phone, gas, electric and water.
  • Public transit resources.
  • Helpful, secure places to report elder abuse and scams targeting seniors.  

As a councilmember, I pledge to aggressively seek supplemental public and private funding for senior outreach and aid programs. I will also advocate for the development of walkable communities and increased affordable senior housing to ensure that San Diego continues to evolve into a more age-friendly, and neighborly “City of Villages.”

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