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There are so many important issues facing seniors today. With the recent passage of health care reform and ongoing legal battles at the California state level regarding access to ADHC services for MediCal recipients, it is critical to stay informed.

Check back often for news and stories about SteppingStone and issues affecting seniors!

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Center For Seniors Seeks New Patients, Referrals For Day Program

darren flowers

"I tried to kill myself," said Kenny Williams candidly.

The 63-year-old had spent 19 years in jail on on a drug charge and had no idea how to acclimate himself back into society. To relax, he would go and sit in the publicly-accessible garden at Mission Creek Day Health at 930 4th St. (near Berry St.) and look at the birds.

Mission Creek Day Health is one of four centers run by Stepping Stone Health, an organization founded in 1983 that focuses on the needs of seniors and disabled adults. Now, the center is expanding its day program so that it can support more seniors in living an independent life.

Williams himself was first invited to join Mission Creek Day Health after he was approached by an employee at the garden. That small gesture turned out to be a lifeline for him.

"I was very isolated," Williams told Hoodline. "I stayed in my room and avoided people. I had a bad anxiety problem."

Kenny Williams

"This program is here to provide people the support they need so they can they remain as independent as possible and in their homes for as long as they can," said Mollie Tobias, Stepping Stone's executive director.

The day program includes two shifts: 7:30am–12:30pm and 12:30pm–5:30pm, and intake begins with an interview with a social work assistant to determine what kind of program each individual might want. Language services are also available in Chinese and Korean, and the assistant explains Medi-Cal, Veterans' Administration, and private options for payment. There's also an appointment scheduled for a visit to the center itself.

"Many don't realize how lonely they are," Tobias said. "They might want a physical therapist to be able to move without pain or to be able to put on socks in the morning. Many times we know more about the participants than their doctor does—we will inform the doctors."

She added that participants in the programs often have particular challenges. They may not be able to move around easily, have chronic illnesses, suffer from dementia, and may or may not have caregivers.

Even those without physical challenges may run into other issues. "Seniors and adults with disabilities [also] face isolation, sadness, and forgetfulness," Tobias said. "They are a population that have a difficult time advocating for themselves whether it is due to mobility, speech, or mental health diagnosis."

Stepping Stone's clients come from all walks of life and demographics in San Francisco, including folks from the city's African-American, Asian-American (including Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Vietnamese), Caucasian, Latinx and Russian communities.

Mission Creek Health Center

One major benefit of the services and programs provided at Mission Creek Health Center and other Stepping Stone locations, which serve 350 people a year, is that they come at a fraction of the cost of nursing homes and are covered by Medi-Cal. "It reduces the cost at the city, state and federal levels," Tobias said. "Stepping Stone is part of a continuum of long-term care—many of our clients are close to the last stages of life."

She pointed out that when changes are made in government funding, it's seniors and adults who are often the first to be impacted.

"This population can’t get a job," she said. "They are at a point in their life that they need the help of the community to live in the community verses living in a skilled nursing facility. Not only is it more comfortable for people to live at home, but it costs less for taxpayers."

At the four Stepping Stone locations, there are social workers who help families and caregivers. Activity coordinators keep the seniors engaged, with multiple events happening at the same time to provide variety.

To that end, Stepping Stone is looking for volunteers, particularly crafts teachers, performers, yoga practitioners and computer tutors.

For Williams, the support and friendship provided at Stepping Stone was critical. He credits the organization for "saving his life."

"I found out that I was missing out on life," he said. "I started coming and it's been a whole new world. I started meeting people and learning new things."

Williams took computer classes and learned how to navigate the internet. He began eating better because he now gets two meals a day, and takes part in exercise classes.

"I was very scared," he told us. "I'm not scared anymore."

For more information on Stepping Stone and its programs, visit their website at For intake services, caregivers and family members can email or call 415-974-6784.

Connector - Community Helping Seniors -SF Chronicle

darren flowers

Fanelli feels it’s important to honor and engage aging seniors. “They built this country,” he said and felt engagement was important and that it’s done through various activities whether through hand massage or just playing dominoes. “That's what we're here for. It's to engage.”

“The benefits are definitely not for us, the benefits are for the clients. We don't know what that smell might mean or that flower or that first rose because they're not able to communicate with us. But the smell, the tactile feeling, the rose, it can spark stuff that we don't know about,” Fanelli said, “and we’ve seen it through small smiles or people just gazing at the flowers, we know somethings happening there, we just don't know what it is but we're happy to see that they're engaged.”

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Yes On I

Proposition I and the Dignity Fund it creates will ensure San Francisco seniors and adults with disabilities are able to live with dignity, independence, and choice in their homes and communities through policy change and sustained funding of services and support.

Five Unsung Heroes Who’re Keeping San Francisco Awesome

Rent may be skyrocketing, and it may seem like tech is taking over, but San Francisco is still full of ambitious humans who are passionate about doing good. And it’s not just NGO workers. Plenty of other unseen day-to-day heroes, such as community leaders, bouncers, yoga teachers and street sweepers, work to keep our fair city together.

We interviewed five people who are making a positive impact in San Francisco to find out what inspires them and what they love about our foggy home.


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Understanding Our Aging Bodies
Openhouse is doing a remarkable job addressing the barriers to connect LGBT seniors to aging support services. But there are still too many LGBT elders, in particular those over 80 years of age, who do not utilize health and social services. This generation lived most of their adult lives in an era where they experienced trauma within the legal, health, and social service systems: They had to guard the disclosure of their sexual orientation or gender identity in light of real experiences of discrimination, criminalization and/or institutiona-lization. Many still do not disclose this information with their medical service providers, and this can have adverse health consequences.

As the Executive Director for SteppingStone Adult Day Health, with a staff culturally competent in LGBT issues, I have been perplexed as an aging service provider at not seeing more LGBT seniors in our Adult Day Health Care centers. SteppingStone Adult Day Health Care provides health and social services that assist frail, low-income seniors and adults with disabilities to live independently in their homes. We provide a range of health and social services—from art and music classes to physical and mental health therapy. The center provides assistance with care coordination, medication manage-ment and transportation assistance to and from the center.

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San Francisco County ADHCs receive 10% MediCal rate restoration for CBAS services!
When San Francisco Adult Day Health Care centers were facing closures not able to survive under the almost three-year long 10% MediCal rate cuts, they unsuccessfully appealed to the state to grant an exemption. Following this denial, Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) stepped in and convinced the California Dept. Health Care Services to examine the problem more carefully and look at the number of frail seniors and disabled adults who would lose services and health consequences if centers were to close. The result is that they reconsidered and San Francisco County will have its MediCal rate restored and be able to keep its nine Adult Day Health Care centers fully functioning. Hats off to Senator Leno! It’s all summed up very well in David Gorn's column in 3/26 California Healthline: and further in his article 3/31:


Moli Steinert, Executive Director of SteppingStone, was honored on May 9 by the Curry Senior Center with the Francis J. Curry Award for her 30 years of leadership and service to the community in health and social care and in particular for her advocacy efforts on behalf of seniors and people with disabilities. 
Photo:  Eve Meyer, Nancy Meyer, Moli Steinert, and Donna Canali


(本報記者黃偉江三藩市報道 )


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悉心照顧殘障長者親屬發揚親情可貴 成人護理中心表揚20名護老者
( 本報記者張政三藩市報道 )
三藩市的橋石成人日間護理中心(Stepping Stone Health)昨(28日)舉行表揚日,表揚20位堅持照顧自己親人多年的家居護理員。表揚日上,中心的員工以唱歌的形式向這些家屬致敬,又安排了奉獻鮮花的環節,場面感人。

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Asian Americans Struggle with Suicide
Stephanie M. Lee
Updated 11:33 am, Thursday, January 24, 2013
(01-24) 11:31 PST SAN FRANCISCO --
Jeannie Wong arrived in the United States with the hope of starting fresh away from her native Hong Kong. But life in America has been hard.

Four decades ago, during a visit to San Francisco, she met the man who would become her husband. She married him at age 30, and they had two sons. She worked as a cashier at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown.

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【KTSF 梁慧珊報導】

由於州政府削減預算,一直接受成人日間護理服務的長者需要重新被審核資格,其中部份人因此失去了服務。有些提供服務的中心不滿有關當局的審核程序。他們指當局未有真正了解 長者的需要便取消了他們的資格。


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Do you know of a ground breaking story about seniors that you would like us to share? Please send us your story.

Are you a media professional on a tight deadline or do you want to put a real face on the issues affecting SF Seniors?  Please contact Executive Director, Moli Steinert at (415) 974-6784 or send her an email.
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