Recently, the Institute on Aging was honored to be able to grant one client a wish for his 100th birthday. Last weekend, long-time client Georgy Sobolev took a cruise around the San Francisco Bay and had an in-depth political discussion (in his native Russian) with Dr. Andrei Tsygankov. Dr. Tsygankov is a Professor of International Relations and Political Science at SFSU, as well as the author of numerous books and articles. Brunch (with champagne!) was included in the cruise.
Mr. Sobolev and Dr. Tsygankov hit it off instantly. For more than two hours they sat side-by-side, heads nearly touching, while they discussed both Russia’s history and future. The professor and Mr. Sobolev were joined by Mr. Sobolev’s son, daughter-in-law, ten-person entourage, a film crew, photographer, and a reporter from Public Radio International.
The dining room manager gave Mr. Sobolev a birthday card and told him they were honored to host him for his 21st birthday — and hoped he would return for his 22nd. Many of the ship’s crew requested selfies with Mr. Sobolev, and the Russian-speaking First Officer presented him with a special birthday dessert. Finally, an organist led the entire ship in a rousing round of “Happy Birthday.”
Mr. Sobolev has been with the IOA for the past five years. To quote the IOA’s President and CEO, Tom Briody: “We work hard every single day to make growing older better for Bay Area seniors. Mr. Sobolev is a shining example of what can happen when seniors have the support they need to thrive at home. Helping him celebrate 100 years of living life to the fullest is not only an honor — it is the quintessential fulfillment of our mission.”
How the IOA makes aging gracefully possible
The IOA is thrilled to make aging gracefully – and independently – a real possibility for seniors like Mr. Sobolev. We pride ourselves on helping seniors remain mentally active and social in the community. Some of these outlets and opportunities include:
Adult Day Clubs: The IOA offers two Adult Day Club sites to help seniors enjoy socialization and supervised activities designed to enhance cognitive function. These fun, engaging programs are for individuals struggling with conditions (including memory loss and physical frailty) that limit their ability to participate in other kinds of community interactions. The senior’s day often involves:
- Group exercises
- Creative activities
- Home-style meals with fresh ingredients
- Individualized care plans
- Assistance with self-care, walking and feeding (if needed)
- Support and education for families and caregivers
- Information and referral services
Arts Program: At the IOA’s Center for Elders and Youth in the Arts (CEYA), seniors can enjoy the benefits of lifelong learning and brain fitness with a customized care plan. The program is available at all four IOA adult day centers. A wide variety of artistic mediums is used, including painting, drawing, poetry and dance. These specialized classes challenge participants in a supportive environment, focusing on basic artistic skill-building and opportunities for self-expression, personal growth, and socialization. CEYA has been identified as a “model program” by the National Council on Aging and the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Home care: The IOA also provides opportunities for seniors to stay engaged at home if they are unable to travel or go on daily outings. The one-on-one interactions offered by our caring, compassionate home health aides can take numerous forms. It may involve discussing current events, playing card games, doing crafts, make recipes together, or simply reminiscing over old photo albums. Taking short walks, writing letters or cards, or similar activities of interest are a great way for seniors to get much-needed socialization and intellectual stimulation.
Helping seniors at any age
Your special senior doesn’t have to be 100 years old to receive services from the IOA. When it comes to the elderly, our agency provides help for wide range of ages and conditions, including Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses. Whether they need only a few hours of help a week, overnight care, or 24/7 supervision, we are ready to provide whatever your loved one requires to age gracefully – just like Mr. Sobolev!
If you are unsure of how to best help an aging loved one, the trained and compassionate staff at the Institute on Aging is here to help you make that decision and gain the best in at-home senior care. Contact us to find out more.