TORRANCE — A workshop on “Our Elders in 2040” will be held on Tuesday, May 23, from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. at Van Deene Avenue Elementary School, 826 Javelin St., Torrance.

The purpose is to collect ideas from the community about regional, transportation, environmental and healthcare needs of our elderly. Save Our Seniors Network will share healthcare issues of Japanese and Japanese American seniors.

Every four years, the Southern California Association of Governments updates its plan for the future of the region, Connect SoCal. SCAG was created by federal law in 1965 in order for all cities to coordinate a vision for the future. The strategies outlined in this plan may affect how everyone in Southern California lives, works, and ages.

SCAG recognizes that public health goals have not always aligned with regional practice. Thus, SCAG is serving as a regional convening body to align public health goals with regional transportation and land use strategies by engaging non-traditional partners to elevate the voices of local residents and learn directly from populations facing health inequities. Participants will be urged to participate in a survey to provide feedback about the needs of their community and serve as a basis for an equitable vision of 2040.

The story of the “deadliest nursing home in California” (Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2021) will be shared by Save Our Seniors Network representatives. SOSN is an all-volunteer network that advocates for justice for all seniors evicted from Sakura Intermediate Care Facility in Boyle Heights during the pandemic and for all seniors who died of COVID-19 due to unsafe care at Kei-Ai Los Angeles in Lincoln Heights. Long-term SOSN stands for bilingual and bicultural senior healthcare services for the Japanese American community and for all peoples.

The community will also have the chance to support the call by Reps. Judy Chu, Maxine Waters, Ted Lieu, and Jimmy Gomez for a thorough investigation by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) into Kel-Ai L.A. which is owned by Pacifica Co., the international developers who purchased the former Keiro Nursing Homes.

“The care they provided during the COVID-19 pandemic has set a dangerous pattern that disproportionately impacted the Japanese American community,” SOSN said in a statement. “It laid bare how the profit objectives of these for-profit owners, Pacifica Companies, caused the degradation and elimination of the services our seniors need. 

“The senior population is the fastest-growing demographic today. Its projected increased growth foreshadows even greater disparities in the near and long term. Health equity is key to informing disparities in land use and access to transportation. Come voice the needs of your community for access to linguistically competent eldercare. Discuss how the location of these services impacts the lives of mobile-challenged elders and their loved ones.”

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