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Hello Friends,

Happy November and almost Thanksgiving! Can you believe it, the holiday season is here? We’re entering that magical time of year where we all look forward to special moments with family and friends. Connecting with loved ones is at the heart of our celebrations, yet we see that many of our seniors are still facing challenges connecting with their families and friends every day.

At Empowered Aging, we work hard to be a resource and support system that is always present, offering companionship and connection to other resources. Our older adults must know that they are being heard and not alone. If you are lucky enough to safely visit with loved ones this holiday season, I hope you will help us spread some extra joy this year. If you’ve been following along with us, you may know that we are in the midst of our 30 Days of Gratitude Giving Challenge. We’re spending a month reflecting on all we are grateful for and some of our milestones over the last year. We are also looking ahead to how we can continue to expand our reach. Our goal is to raise $10,000 by November 30th, but we can’t do it alone. We need $5,600 more to reach our goal! Will you help us, do it? Your gift today will help us continue to grow programs like our Friendly Visiting and Telephone Reassurance, which is vital to combating loneliness and isolation—heightened issues, especially during the holiday season. No matter how big or small, your support makes a world of difference to the lives of older adults across our region.

I hope you will continue to read on for more highlights from our 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge and other ways you can support our seniors. We will be sharing information about our volunteer opportunities, the upcoming Lunch & Learn session on November 18th, and some exciting news about our Healthcare Career Pathway program.

Thank you for all that you do for our seniors and our community. If you or someone you know is in need of support, please reach out or have them get in touch with our team by calling 925.658.2070.

Wishing you all a very healthy and safe Thanksgiving.

Best wishes,

Nicole Howell
Executive Director

30 Days of Giving Gratitude

Meet Therris Cunningham, Empowered Aging’s Regional Supervisor in Contra Costa County and Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Therris joined us back in 2018 as part of our MSW Internship program. “When my journey as an intern began, my goal was to learn more about the organizations that empower older adults to help them live a better quality life,” Therris reflects. “I had some experience with the long-term care system supporting and visiting my grandparents during their lives when they were sent to skilled nursing facilities for rehabilitative purposes. But, at that time, it didn’t dawn on me that some individuals would require long-term care for the rest of their lifetime!”

As Therris learned more about long-term care ombudsman support, she started to shift her focus. She wanted to know more about the role of the advocate and the process to increase the benefits of individuals that require long-term care. And that is when she found Empowered Aging and the MSW Internship program.

“Joining Empowered Aging clarified two things for me, my career path and my desired goal to continue on as an advocate and change agent for older and dependent adults.” And that’s precisely what happened. Therris was hired in 2019 after graduating with her Master of Social Work degree from Cal State University, East Bay.

“I have always been passionate about older adults, and Empowered Aging allows me to be a part of a movement helping older adults and adults with disabilities live a better quality of life on their own. My goal is to continue my career path as an advocate and change agent working to marry the long-term care ombudsman code of ethics with the core values of the social worker to help all aging individuals fully live their desired quality of life.”

We’re so thrilled to have Therris as a part of our team. Her story is just one demonstration of how Empowered Aging is working to grow and enhance the elder care industry. The MSW Internship program has distinguished itself as a unique learning opportunity hailed for its professionalism, diversity, and ability to bring a new language and perspective to elder care. We’re proud to be back in action, with new interns working to ease tomorrow’s elder care workforce shortage. We have a little less than two weeks left in our 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge left, and we need your help to finish strong! Your support will continue to help us grow our programs, like this one, and launch even more. Visit today.

The SCAN Foundation Recognizes Healthcare Career Pathway

Every year The SCAN Foundation works to celebrate and recognize the progress of those that advance high-quality services for older adults and their families. We are proud to share that the Healthcare Career Pathway program has received an honorable mention as a part of its 2021 Innovation Award.

The Innovation Award identifies organizations that embrace a commitment to human-centered design and principles through a product, program, or service that improves the lives of older adults. We want to say a HUGE thank you to The SCAN Foundation for this fantastic recognition. We hope you will join us in celebrating our program, the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living Experience Station, as well as the award winner Covia and the Well Connected Program on December 9th at noon during the Innovation Award Ceremony. Register now to reserve your spot!