WATSONVILLE, CA – The Senior Center Without Limits program is overcoming the digital divide to connect Santa Cruz County residents over age 60 to their community through free online classes and workshops.
The Joseph and Vera Long Foundation awarded Elderday, a program of Community Bridges, with a $25,000 grant to support the Senior Center Without Limits program. Grant funds will enable the program to extend its reach to more seniors and expand class offerings. “Thanks to this grant from The Joseph and Vera Long Foundation, we will be able to continue free programming that nourishes both body and soul through social connection, structured workouts and community building,” states Lois Sones, Elderday Program Director, “We have seen firsthand how this program improves cognitive processes and combats isolation for seniors.”
Currently the program offers 30 classes each week over Zoom and the grant funds will be used to add new classes, such as new Cooking Around the World classes beginning in February. Participants will be able to take a series of instructor-led cooking classes from their homes and share the experience with others virtually.
“We started the Senior Center Without Limits with city and county partners at the beginning of the pandemic to support the physical and mental wellbeing of seniors sheltering in place,” explains Ray Cancino, CEO of Community Bridges. “We are proud to say that we have connected 950 seniors with 2,700 classes and connected over 150 seniors with free tablets in 2020. We are excited and ready to continue to grow our class offerings, as well as the number of senior participants that will benefit from this unique program. Our ability to help bridge the digital divide by providing free tablets to seniors who qualify ensures there are no barriers to accessing our program.”
To participate in the classes seniors must have access to internet and an internet enabled device (computer, smartphone or tablet). Seniors may qualify to receive a free Amazon Fire tablet, while funding lasts. To qualify they must be over the age of 60 and a low-income Santa Cruz County resident defined by HUD. Note that priority is given to people with disabilities.
For more information on the program, a dynamic calendar of classes and to apply to receive a tablet, please go to www.communitybridges.org/SCWOL. To support this program and keep classes free, please go to www.communitybridges.org/donate.
ABOUT SENIOR CENTER WITHOUT LIMITS
The Senior Center Without Limits is a free program that overcomes the digital divide to connect seniors to their community, engage in activities to improve cognitive processes and combat isolation. Seniors can participate in a variety of online classes each week, such as yoga, tai chi, art, music, support groups and computer classes. All residents over the age of 60 living in Santa Cruz County are encouraged to participate in this free program. Seniors may qualify to receive a free Amazon Fire tablet, while funding lasts. To qualify they must be over the age of 60 and a low income Santa Cruz County resident. Note that priority is given to people with disabilities. The Senior Center Without Limits is sponsored by Community Bridges, the City of Santa Cruz, the City of Watsonville and Santa Cruz County Parks. For more information on the program, a dynamic calendar of classes and to apply to receive a tablet, please go to www.communitybridges.org/SCWOL.
Elderday is an adult day health care center that empowerselders to live at home with independence and dignity. At Elderday participants benefit from nursing care, physical and occupational therapies, referral to resources, therapeutic activities, healthy meals and access to onsite mental health and nutrition services. Week-day hours make it possible for participants to stay independent and in their own homes for as long as possible, while offering family remembers and caregivers well-deserved respite. Elderday is free for those eligible for Medi-Cal. Costs can also be covered by the Veteran’s Administration, long-term care insurance, or private pay on a sliding scale. Due to the pandemic, most Elderday services are currently provided remotely, but will resume in-person activities when it is safe and permitted by state and county regulations.
ABOUT COMMUNITY BRIDGES
Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org. The Community Bridges family of programs includes the Child & Adult Care Food Program, Child Development Division, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Community Resources, Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Community Resources, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, Lift Line and Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County.