The elderly population in Los Angeles has been steadily increasing for the last decade. The city’s Department of Aging reports that the number of people aged 65 and older will more than double by 2030, from one million to two million. This demographic shift has huge implications for those who care about aging well and living with dignity. Fortunately, there are many nonprofits devoted to helping seniors stay independent and healthy as they age!
Here are five organizations working hard to make LA a better place for all seniors – particularly those without resources or family nearby.
1) Jewish Home & Family Services – Job Training for Seniors
Located in south-central Los Angeles, Jewish Home & Family Services provides occupational therapy and job training to seniors. “We teach them job skills so they can have dignity for the rest of their lives,” says Diana Rios, Executive Director at Jewish Home & Family Services. The organization will soon be moving into a new facility that includes a job training center where seniors will gain valuable skills for hospitality, construction, and healthcare jobs.
2) SilverLining – Free Movies For Seniors
Offering free programs on social services and other topics since 2005, this nonprofit has proven itself as a community center for seniors. It also offers a library of digitized films and books, free rides via its RideShare program, and free concerts in the summer months. In 2014, SilverLining launched its Media Arts Center to help seniors who have trouble navigating digital technology use computers to become more internet-savvy. The nonprofit’s most recent effort is the Silver Screen series, a free movie night for seniors age 60 and over. The film lineup includes classics like A Fish Called Wanda and new releases like The Intern. SilverLining also offers on-site blood pressure screenings to help the community stay healthy.
3) PACE of Los Angeles County – Energy Assistance Programs
A nonprofit network of more than 40 centers across LA County, PACE is committed to helping people age 50 and older stay in their homes. Two of the organization’s programs help seniors cut back on heating costs. The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) provides grants for low-income senior homeowners who need to make home repairs to improve energy efficiency. PACE also provides emergency services, such as furnace and water heater repairs. The program serves over 60,000 people each year. PACE’s Assistive Technology Program helps residents with disabilities by providing free computer devices and games that can help them maintain their independence at home.
4) North Hollywood Interfaith Center – Meals on Wheels
Started in 1966 to assist immigrant families, this nonprofit now provides home care and other services for seniors across Los Angeles. In addition to offering various cultural programs, such as holiday celebrations, free legal advice, and computer training classes, the organization helps seniors avoid eviction by providing temporary financial assistance via its HomeSave program. This service matches clients with volunteers who serve as personal financial advisors. Staff members also offer information about SSI, Medicare, and Medi-Cal programs to help people with low or no income access needed services.
5) Strive – Senior Employment Opportunities
Founded in 2014 to provide job training for seniors, this nonprofit offers several programs that connect older people with employment opportunities. Its Healthy Aging Initiative seeks to combat the skills gap that many seniors face when they attempt to enter a new job market, and it supports adults over age 55 looking for careers in health care. It also offers an online resource hub to help people find paid work opportunities through its Employment Toolbox site. Strive also partners with local businesses to help older adults gain experience through unpaid internships.