October 23, 2012 > LIFE ElderCare Executive Director Patricia Osage
LIFE ElderCare Executive Director Patricia Osage
I am now in my sixth week with LIFE and each week finds me increasingly in awe of the ways this organization and its dedicated staff impact so many. This includes not only those who receive our services, but also the amazing volunteers and compassionate nursing students.
I believe we are doing the work that many generations ago in the U.S. was primarily done by neighbors and family members. Making sure the aged and disabled among us were nourished, listened to, and could get to where they needed to go, used to just be part of, well life.
I have learned much over my life from an extremely diverse and wise crowd of individuals who have helped prepare me for this position:
* The two years I spent in Yemen fresh out of college, learning about the vital importance of basic health and nutrition education - done in a way that makes sense to the community in need.
* Several years working with hundreds of mentally ill, formerly homeless residents in San Francisco's Tenderloin District as the human services program director for the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
* The in-depth experience I gained as Resident Services Director at Satellite Housing; learning about the complexities and humanness of the aging process. I spent six years developing new programs, procuring grant funding, and working with a large team of extremely insightful case managers to benefit the almost 2,000 low-income seniors we served there.
Food, friendship, transportation and exercise make up the foundation of life. Without them, we are often lost, sick, and alone. With them, we are connected and this makes the difference between flourishing and declining, between contentment and frustration, and between expensive institutionalization and remaining at home.