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Hello Empowered Aging Family,

Happy June! Thank you for joining me for another edition of our newsletter. You may have heard that we kicked off our See Me. Hear Me.™ awareness campaign in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Month on June first. I would like to take a moment to say thank you to our partner organizations, long-term care residents, facility staff and administration, community members, elected officials, and all those who have participated. The Empowered Aging team and I are overwhelmed by the movement this campaign has turned into and the response it has received. Advocacy isn’t just a job for the friends and family members of older adults and adults with disabilities. It must be a community-driven purpose, and it’s truly incredible to see how many people feel impacted by this work and the campaign stories we’ve been able to tell.

To me, See Me. Hear Me. is really about bringing forth and recognizing humanity. Just because we age, slow down, or have trouble remembering the people or places we’ve been touched by doesn’t mean we haven’t lived and built a lifetime worth recognizing. It also doesn’t mean that we lose our rights. Every single person on this planet will age. And as we age, don’t we deserve to live with dignity and in safety, with measures in place to stop abuse or neglect? Our campaign aims to protect those we serve while helping the community understand that aging, living in care facilities, and needing the help of others to survive and thrive does not mean you lose your identity, your humanity, or your right to be seen and heard.

If you haven’t requested a paddle to share your own message about what See Me. Hear Me. means to you, or shared one of our social media posts with your network, I encourage you to take action today. To learn more about the campaign, please visit, and to request a paddle directly, please send a message to

In this edition of our newsletter, we will be highlighting See Me. Hear Me. statements from our campaign participants and other ways you can take part. We will also recap our most recent team live stream, media appearances, and more. Again, thank you for all you do to support older adults and adults with disabilities across our communities. If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out or have them contact our team by calling 925.658.2070.

Best wishes,

Susannah Meyer
Executive Director

More Ways to Take Action During the See Me. Hear Me. Campaign


Some of our latest data shows that 13% of all complaints to the California Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman involve abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation, which is more than twice the national rate of 5%. Additionally, in the US, studies have found that one in 10 adults aged 60 and older has experienced some form of abuse annually, and globally, one in six elders is abused every year. With the dramatically rising numbers of the older adult population and the growing demand for related resources and direct care support, we are concerned that more needs to be done to address the increased risk for elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect.

The See Me. Hear Me. campaign was launched to spread awareness (watch our campaign kickoff video here on our website if you haven’t already,) but that’s just the beginning. I challenge you to join us and be a part of this important movement:
1. Donate. By supporting Empowered Aging, you’re helping us maintain our position as a frontline force that delivers educational awareness, connection to resources, and programs that cultivate relationships and advocacy for older adults and adults with disabilities. In Solano County, your support can go towards securing a hotel stay for someone in a domestic violence situation through our Elder Justice program. In all three counties we serve – Contra Costa, Solano, and Alameda, your funding can go towards improving the quality of life for long-term care residents, whether that be someone who needs pajamas and slippers, a fan for their room, special blankets, flowers or even a birthday cake – items that remind them they matter and that their needs are seen and heard no matter how big or small. Follow this link to visit our donation page.
2. Volunteer. Giving the gift of time is another incredible way to show older adults and adults with disabilities that they matter. As a community member, you are a voice for change; as a volunteer, you’re putting that into action to drive that change forward. You don’t need special skills, just a desire to lovingly uplift and encourage some of our most vulnerable community members. Click now to learn more about our opportunities.

“See Me. Hear Me. It’s important to value all voices in our community, especially those who are often marginalized. The aging and disabled community, in particular, enriches our world with unique insights and experiences. We celebrate today and every day these special people who grace our world. We see and hear you: You Matter!”
-State Senator Steve Glazer, District 7

“When or if I ever need to be cared for in a long-term care facility, I want staff and caregivers to see me and hear me as a human being with the right to be treated with respect and dignity.”
-Blanca Castro, Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman

“As a member of the Board of Supervisors, it is my responsibility to give a voice to all residents. But I know that we can’t do it all, which is why efforts like this are vital. We should, as a community, continue to treat our older adults and adults with disabilities with respect and dignity.”
-County Supervisor Ken Carlson, Contra Costa County District IV

Empowered Aging Live: Recognizing the Humanity in Aging and Long-Term Care

Many of us wonder what will become of us in our later years. Will we have the opportunity to age independently in our own homes, or will health concerns mean we need the supportive services of a long-term care facility? Will we be surrounded and cared for by loved ones or dependent on professionals for our daily living needs? And what about those we care for? Many of us will be thrust into the world of care providing before we need it ourselves through supporting a parent or other family member.

As elder care professionals, we see every single day what happens when older and dependent adults are forgotten, and that’s why a huge part of our mission in spreading awareness is to tell the stories and help our communities remember the humanity in aging. We hope you will join us for a moving discussion on storytelling in the aging and long-term care journey. Together our team members will share insights from the field, shedding light on how often this vulnerable population is overlooked and how important they are to our communities.

“The Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Aging is appointed by the Board of Supervisors to advise the Area Agency on Aging on all matters related to the development and administration of the annual Area Agency plan and operations conducted thereunder, in accordance with mandates from the Older Americans Act. After a June presentation about See Me. Hear Me. the Council elected to take part in support of the important advocacy and awareness work it represents.”
-Contra Costa County Advisory Council

“Elder and dependent adults need someone to look out for them, and for those who reside in long term care facilities, family and friends aren’t always available. That’s why it’s critical we support initiatives to ensure that long term care facility workers can report abuse and neglect easily and quickly when such situations arise. But, most importantly, we need to provide vulnerable adults and caregivers with the resources they need to ensure elder and dependent adult abuse doesn’t happen in the first instance. That’s really the key to eliminating elder abuse and neglect. And I’m proud to be part of such a large community of advocates working to make that happen.”
-Jason Sullivan-Halpern, J.D., Association Director, California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association

Thank You for Joining Our World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Event!

On June 1st, the state of California came together to recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Month. The theme of this year’s event was California’s Response to Homelessness in Older Adults and People with Disabilities. The in-person gathering was held at the California Department of Social Services headquarters in Sacramento and featured keynote speaker Margot Kushel, MD, a professor of medicine at UCSF who shared more about her research on reducing the burden of homelessness on healthcare outcomes. Empowered Aging Executive Director, Susannah Meyer, attended the event on behalf of our organization and shared, “It was an honor for Empowered Aging to once again be a planning partner for this important annual event in raising awareness for elder abuse. We had a huge turnout, both in-person and virtually. I was so moved by the conversations we had and the work and ideas shared by all of our speakers and panel discussions. Seeing the change we can make when we all come together and work towards a common cause is amazing. I’m very hopeful for the future of California in fighting ageism and providing a more just place in society for all older adults and adults with disabilities.”

Don’t Miss Empowered Aging Featured on Conversations with Mel McKay!

Conversations is a monthly show hosted by local radio personality Mel McKay that discusses current events going on in the Tri-Valley community of Alameda County. In this month’s episode, Mel sits down with Empowered Aging Executive Director Susannah Meyer to discuss how we serve the community, Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and the See Me. Hear Me. campaign.

On April 28th, collaborative partners across the Bay Area came together for the virtual Master Plan for Aging event, Caring for the Caregiver. The panel discussion focused on the investments made in the state’s Master Plan for Aging, the issues impacting direct care workers, the financial burden of affording care, and so much more. Panelists included County Supervisors and industry professionals from six Bay Area counties, and the meeting featured powerful testimonies from caregivers in the community and comments from state officials in the aging arena. The panel for this free web event was moderated by our Executive Director, Susannah Meyer. You can watch the full event video above.

Empowered Aging is Hiring!

Empowered Aging is looking for kind, compassionate, driven, and service-oriented people to join our expanding team. If you are dedicated to protecting the quality of life for older adults, then we want to hear from you. For more information on our current job openings and to apply, please visit our job listings.

Know someone else who fits the bill? Feel free to forward this email or share the link to our career portal.