Serving Seniors

By Paul Downey

Senior homelessness: A big problem with achievable solutions

Senior homelessness in San Diego County is a significant problem and is projected to get worse. Senior homelessness nationally is expected to grow by 33 percent by 2020 and more than double by 2050, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Congress, reauthorize the Older Americans Act

Ignacio is a San Diego native and an Army veteran who served in the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. He is homeless and, like many low-income seniors, alone with no family to help him out.

Nonprofit management learns from business world

Gone are the days when businesses existed to make money and nonprofits focused only on making the world a better place. Now both are influencing each others’ practices and finding ways to work together.

Mayoral vote will affect how SD economy supports seniors

San Diego’s next mayor will have a full agenda, no doubt about that. From revitalizing neighborhoods to funding pensions to working out managed competition for city services, our new chief executive must begin planning for the graying of San Diego — and I’m not talking about May gray. The number of San Diegans over the age of 60 will double by 2030 and represent one in four residents.

Do your homework to find the right charity

Would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive or kicking the tires? Of course you wouldn’t, but many people make gifts to nonprofit organizations, especially during the holiday season, without taking a peek under the organization’s hood to make sure everything is in working order.

How Congress’ intransigence harms seniors

Washington’s no-limit poker game with the American economy as stakes ended when House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, folded and allowed a vote in the House to reopen the government and avert a default by the federal government.

Supportive housing makes a good investment

San Diego has a growing, silent crisis. The high cost of living in San Diego, combined with skyrocketing medical costs, is resulting in a growing population of homeless seniors. In fact, San Diego ranks third in the nation for the number of homeless, and seniors make up 25 percent of the local homeless population.

The special issues of LGBT seniors

The Social Security Administration in August began processing claims for benefits for those in same-sex marriages, the latest in a chain of federal agency responses to the Defense of Marriage Act court decision. While this is a big step forward for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and marriage equality, much remains to be done.

Women face difficulties in retirement

With longer life expectancies than men, women tend to live longer in retirement and have a greater chance of outliving their retirement nest egg.

Create safe workplaces through simple prevention

As our work force begins to age and continues working past traditional retirement age, it is important for businesses, caregivers and families to take precautions to ensure safe environments.

Chained CPI ethically wrong to apply to Social Security

Chained CPI is President Obama’s controversial proposal to reduce Social Security increases — mainly on the backs of the poorest seniors in the country.

Why you need an advance health care directive

What kind of medical care would you want if you were too ill or injured to express your wishes? Without the ability to speak or write, or possibly even think clearly, how would you convey your wishes to your doctor or loved ones?

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Paul Downey

Paul Downey is the president and CEO of Senior Community Centers, a nonprofit agency dedicated to increasing the quality of life for San Diego seniors living in poverty. Learn more at

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