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Northern California organization supports, accompanies senior citizens

ACC Senior Services helps make sure seniors are physically and mentally healthy, safe and independent.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Northern California organization is doing its part to make sure senior citizens in our community aren't alone, are safe, independent and mentally and physically healthy.

"A lot of seniors might feel anxious being out for a variety of reasons, but it really was heightened during the pandemic," said Jeri Shikuma, programs administrator at ACC Senior Services. "Being isolated in your own home without the ability to make connections with other people, to have meaningful interactions, that really takes a toll on people's mental and physical health."

ACC Senior Services, formerly known as The Asian Community Center of Sacramento Valley, offers a wide range of services including transportation programs.

Some services offered are door-to-door transportation for seniors, or a senior escort program matching trained volunteers with seniors who may not feel comfortable or safe being out in the community by themselves.

"Our senior escort program was really a grassroots effort as a response to the rise in anti-Asian hate incidences that occurred during the pandemic," said Shikuma. "We really wanted to take a preventative approach to stopping the hate. There were a lot of incidences that were really targeted at seniors and especially women who were alone."

Nearly 11,000 hate incidents from March 2020 to Dec. 2021 were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, according to their 2022 report. The report says of those incidents, "824 were reports of hate incidents against Asian American elders aged 60 and up."

One of the people who has taken a liking to the programs and is an active participant is Mollie Chow.

"You shouldn't lock yourself in," said Chow. "I'm 94 and most of my friends are gone. Some of them can't even get out of bed and they locked themselves in. Too bad. Too bad."

She added the programs ACC Senior Services offers are wonderful outreach into the community.

"I really think this is my second home," said Chow.

To learn more about ACC Senior Services, click HERE.

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