Help Elder Neighbors Connect to the Community

Caring Neighborhoods Program Encourages Participation of Neighborhood-Based Groups to Help Elder Neighbors

City of Sacramento’s Older Adult Services Program aims to improve the quality of life of Sacramento elders by involving neighborhood residents

The City of Sacramento’s Caring Neighborhoods program is reaching out to Sacramento neighborhood groups and associations to encourage participation of residents in a collaborative effort to promote independence, reduce isolation, and ensure the safety and well-being of elderly neighbors.

Sacramento is a city of neighborhoods. Many residents of these neighborhoods are growing older and facing the challenges of living independently and could use a hand from their neighbors but are reluctant to ask for help. On the other hand, more active neighbors are often concerned about their elder neighbors but may be hesitant to get involved out of respect for their elder neighbor’s privacy.

The Caring Neighborhoods program provides ongoing technical support and resources to residents who form small, informal groups and connect with elderly neighbors who might need a hand with some everyday tasks or enjoy a friendly conversation.

As formal health and social services for elders continue to be limited, it’s important to increase awareness and to find creative ways of providing community support to a growing elderly population. “The Caring Neighborhoods program has the potential to improve the quality of life of Sacramento elders by expanding the ‘resource pie’ to include neighborhood residents as part of the solution,” stated Program Coordinator Martha Paterson-Cohen. “As a result, and the larger goal of the program, elders can continue living at home safely and independently.”

Providing transportation to or offering to pick up a quart of milk at the grocery store, sharing information about nearby senior services and activities, changing a light bulb, or extending an invitation to a family picnic or neighborhood barbecue—these are just a few examples of how neighborhood groups can enhance the lives of their elderly neighbors and allow them to maintain a safe, healthy and productive life in their own home.

Interested program participants can start by recruiting at least three neighbors or work in partnership with their neighborhood association to form a Caring Neighborhoods group. Ongoing communications and support are provided by the Program Coordinator who will meet with your group to help you develop effective strategies for reaching out to elderly neighbors. For more information about starting a Caring Neighborhoods group, please contact Martha Paterson-Cohen, Program Coordinator at (916) 842-7782 or

 About Older Adult Services, City of Sacramento, Department of Parks and Recreation

Caring Neighborhoods is made possible by funding from Measure U. Other programs offered by Older Adult Services include Triple-R Adult Day Program, 50+Wellness Program and other special events and activities offered at the Ethel MacLeod Hart Senior Center. For more information, visit the Older Adult Services section of .

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