New Senior Services Commission

Although nearly 30% of the residents of the Town of Los Gatos are seniors, the Town has not prioritized development of senior services.  The Town provides a few minimal grants to organizations that provide seniors meal services, such as Live Oak Senior Nutrition.  However, during her door-to-door canvassing prior to the Covid crisis, Heidi heard from many Los Gatos seniors about their situations.   Most senior residents are not hungry for food; they are hungry for company.  They are lonely and isolated.  Our seniors who don't drive have no means to get to the Los Gatos Senior Center.  Even if they did, the programming is extremely limited and is funded by Los Gatos Saratoga Recreation (LGSR).  Ironically, LGSR is funded by a cooperative of local school districts.  Instead of a concerted effort to build out the Town's senior services, we are relying on our school districts to fund and organize senior services.  This is a major flaw in the strategic plan for the Town of Los Gatos.  If elected, Heidi will propose a new Commission to focus exclusively on development of a seniors services plan.   Representatives on the Commission should include many groups:

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  • Service organizations including Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions

  • Faith-based organizations

  • Service provider organizations such as Live Oak Nutrition

  • Two Town Council Members

  • Town staff representatives

 

The newly formed Seniors Commission should be charged with the creation of a plan to elevate the Town's approach to serving our seniors.  They may start with the findings of the Age Friendly Community program.  The Town received recognition for being an Age-Friendly Community, but there were many specific recommendations that came out of that report.  The Commission should evaluate types of desired seniors programming, identify grant funding options, create a long term plan to develop a new senior center, research a shuttle service or other transportation solution to get seniors Downtown, investigate a college student/seniors housemate matching program, and identify other creative approaches to improve the Town's seniors' lifestyles.