Senior Services in Oakland
Where to Go, Who Can Help and How to Get There
For seniors ready to settle into their retirement years, Oakland has plenty to offer in the way of beautiful weather and activities that cater to pretty much every interest. Temperatures stay in the 50s and 60s year-round, which is great for seniors who have difficulty in hot and cold weather, and the area gets 0 inches of snow and only 24 inches of rain every year on average.
However, no place is perfect, and while Oakland has plenty of pluses, it can also bring some challenges. This area of California is one of the most expensive, coming in with a 54% higher cost of living overall than the U.S. average. Housing, which seniors in assisted living may not have to contend with, is responsible for most of this, but everything from goods and services and groceries to health care and transportation in Oakland costs more than both the state and national averages. However, the area also has many Oakland senior care services that can help seniors cut costs in some of these areas and have healthy social lives.
Housing and Financial Resources for Seniors in Oakland
Housing in Oakland costs more than double what it does on average in the rest of the country, and this can make it difficult for seniors to find a suitable place that also fits in their budgets. Many seniors are also ready to enjoy their retirement, which means spending less time on mowing and lawn upkeep and more time enjoying their hobbies and visiting with friends and family. Luckily, Oakland has several assisted living communities that can help in both of these areas.
1. Sunrise of Oakland Hills
Address: 11889 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619 Phone: (510) 531-7190 Website: http://sunriseseniorliving.com/communities/sunrise-of-oakland-hills/overview.aspx
Sunrise of Oakland Hills is a community that focuses on providing residents with a home-like feel. Its suites include your own bathroom with shower for privacy, and there’s also a kitchenette so you can make your own snacks whenever you feel like it. The community areas provide a place to chat with neighbors or just read a good book while enjoying the Bay views, and the outside grounds include gardens for afternoon strolls.
2. St. Paul’s Towers
Address: 100 Bay Pl, Oakland, CA 94610 Phone: (510) 835-4700 Website: https://covia.org/st-pauls-towers/
St. Paul’s Towers includes housing accommodations that include everything from assisted living to continuing care communities and nursing homes. It’s located right next to Lake Merritt to offer outdoor walking opportunities and beautiful views. The community includes an on-site wellness facility and has classes, concerts and cultural opportunities for residents to take advantage of.
3. The Lake Merritt
Address: 1800 Madison Street, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 903-3600 Website: http://thelakemerritt.com/
The Lake Merritt is a community focused on helping seniors keep an independent life style while still getting the social support they need in their golden years. It’s located on the lake for picturesque views, and the apartments feature Art Deco style architecture and design touches. The community offers restaurant-style dining, housekeeping and maintenance, and a concierge service.
4. Pacifica Senior Living Oakland Heights
Address: 2361 E 29th St, Oakland, CA 94606 Phone: (510) 534-3637 Website: https://www.pacificaseniorliving.com/ca/oakland/pacifica-senior-living-oakland-heights/index.aspx?utm_source=GMB&utm_medium=organic
This community is located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area and has both independent and assisted living options. Pacifica also offers memory care services if needed. On-site amenities include gourmet dining, daily fitness classes and 24/7 staffing for security, and activities are also offered daily.
5. Piedmont Gardens
Address: 110 41st St, Oakland, CA 94611 Phone: (510) 597-6713 Website: https://www.humangood.org/piedmont-gardens
Located in the Piedmont Avenue neighborhood, this community enjoys easy access to shopping opportunities and local restaurants. It offers residential and assisted living as well as skilled nursing and memory care. The community has a library, fitness center and full-service salon and barbershop so you don’t have to go off-site for most errands, and the landscaped grounds and resident gardens provide plenty of space to enjoy the beautiful Oakland weather.
6. Lakeside Park
Address: 468 Perkins St, Oakland, CA 94610 Phone: (510) 444-4684 Website: https://lakesidepark.watermarkcommunities.com/
A retirement community that includes memory care housing, Lakeside Park is located near Lake Merritt and enjoys easy access to nearby Berkeley where residents can find everything from health care and restaurants to shopping and entertainment options. The outside grounds include secure outdoor spaces and gardens where residents can walk or enjoy gardening as a hobby, and the inside has fitness programs, full-service housekeeping and linen services and a packed activities calendar.
7. Money Management International
Address: 1901 Harrision St. Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (713) 394-3232 Website: https://www.moneymanagement.org/locations/california/oakland
The Oakland branch of Money Management International is dedicated to helping educate seniors on everything related to finances, from budgeting and paying down debt to affording housing and understanding credit reports. This organization offers online, phone and face-to-face counseling so you can communicate however you prefer, and all of its advisors have been certified by both HUD and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
8. Catholic Charities of the East Bay Housing Services Alameda County
Address: 433 Jefferson Street, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 768-3100 Website: https://www.cceb.org/housing-services-in-the-county-of-alameda/
This organization helps seniors who are facing a housing crisis, such as eviction, foreclosure or a utility shutoff. Seniors must be at least 55 years old, but the organization also offers assistance to veterans, the disabled and low-income families. Catholic Charities of the East Bay also offers financial counseling, including a budget review, case management and one-time financial assistance, and it can also help connect you to additional resources and services in the Oakland area.
9. Alameda County Social Services Elder Abuse Hotline
Address: 6955 Foothill Boulevard Suite 143, Oakland, CA 94605 Phone: (510) 577-3500 Website: https://www.alamedasocialservices.org/public/services/elders_and_disabled_adults/elder_abuse.cfm
Alameda County Social Services offers an elder abuse hotline where seniors or their concerned friends and family members can call to report suspected elder abuse. While suspected physical and sexual abuse should always be reported, elder abuse also includes financial abuse. This organization also offers resources for seniors to better understand what financial abuse is as well as how to recognize it and protect themselves.
Health and Medical Resources for Seniors in Oakland
Getting older can mean more frequent trips to the doctor for check-ins, medication management and other health concerns that can crop up. Luckily, Oakland has premier medical facilities and doctors who can help you address any existing issues and give recommendations on how to age as healthily as possible. Here are a few of the doctors and facilities Oakland has to offer.
1. Dr. Susan Helen Wakerlin, MD
Address: 280 W MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94611 Phone: (510) 432-9105
Dr. Wakerlin is a geriatric and internal medicine specialist who practices as part of Kaiser Permanente. She graduated from the Stanford School of Medicine and has been practicing since 1981.
2. Dr. Catherine Buchanan, MD
Address: 5700 Telegraph Ave Suite 100, Oakland, CA 94609 Phone: (510) 662-1433
An internal medicine and geriatric medicine specialist, Dr. Buchanan is a board-certified doctor who can help with everyday health concerns, as well as those specific to seniors, and provide evaluations and referrals as necessary. She received the Patient’s Choice Award for 2017 and 2018 from Vitals.
3. Dr. Julie Lynn Sandoval-Perry, MD
Address: 275 W Macarthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94611 Phone: (510) 752-1000
Dr. Sandoval-Perry is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente and specializes in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospice and palliative care. Some of her areas of expertise include osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, incontinence and end-of-life care.
4. Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit
Phone: (855) 421-2904 Website: https://www.sutterhealth.org/services/neuroscience/absmc-neurology
Sutter Health’s neuroscience department can be an invaluable resource for seniors who are dealing with memory diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as those who have a history of stroke, migraines or epilepsy. This department is part of the larger Sutter Health system, which has dozens of specialists in all disciplines, including cardiology, oncology and gerontology.
5. Kaiser Permanente
Address: 3600 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611 Phone: (510) 752-1000 Website: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/northern-california/facilities/Oakland-Medical-Center-100344
Kaiser Permanente has been providing health care services to patients since 1945 and services more than 12 million members. The headquarters for this health center are in Oakland, which means area seniors can access expert care and cutting-edge technology. The Oakland locations also offers emergency and urgent care and has an on-site pharmacy.
Senior Transportation Options in Oakland
Oakland’s transportation cost index is just a little higher than the rest of California, but it’s 30% higher than the U.S. average. Taking advantage of some of these Oakland senior services when it comes to transportation can help you cut costs and put more money back in your budget for other things. The greater San Francisco Bay area has several mass transit options that seniors can use.
1. AC Transit
Phone: (510) 891-4706 Website: http://www.actransit.org/discounted-passes-on-clipper-2/
The AC Transit system lets seniors get around to most of Oakland and makes daily trips to San Francisco during the week. Seniors who are aged 65 and older — or those with disabilities — can apply for a Senior and Disabled Local Monthly pass, which gives you unlimited rides around the East Bay for one month.
Phone: (510) 464-6000 Website: https://www.bart.gov/tickets#targetText=To%20get%20a%20Clipper%20discount,receive%20the%20card%20via%20mail.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit system makes stops throughout the East Bay, connection Oakland to Antioch, Dublin, Richmond, San Francisco and Millbrae. Seniors 65 years and older can get a green ticket, which lets them get $24 worth of ride value for $9 — a 62.5% discount. These tickets must be bought from an in-person vendor or through the mail and cannot be accessed through the usual ticket vending machines.
3. East Bay Paratransit
Phone: (510) 287-5000 Website: https://www.eastbayparatransit.org/
This public transit service is a great resource for seniors who have disabilities or health conditions that keep them from being able to ride on regular public transit. Its services run from origin to destination, and the vans have a lift and are suitable for people in wheelchairs. Fares are based on distance and start at $4 a ride.
4. GoGo Grandparent
Phone: (855) 464-6872 Website: https://gogograndparent.com/
GoGo Grandparent helps seniors access ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft without having to carry a smartphone or navigate adds. You just request a ride via the call-in number, and one of the drivers comes to pick you up and take you where you need to go. Pricing starts at 27 cents per minute for the scheduling call, but this doesn’t include the actual ride fare for Uber or Lyft.
6. Onward Rides
Phone: (510) 771-7171 Website: https://www.onwardrides.com/how-onward-works/
Onward Rides is an on-demand ride service geared toward seniors that lets you request a ride through a mobile app, the company’s website or by calling them directly. You can also request help with getting groceries or bags in to the house if the ride is bringing you home from a shopping trip. There are no setup or transaction fees, and the cost is $35 an hour.
7. Center for Elder Independence
Phone: (844) 319-1150 Website: https://cei.elders.org/life-with-cei/
The Center for Elder Independence has mas more than three dozen vans that can offer rides and to and from the center as well as to doctor’s appointments. CEI also provides other services such as helping with nutrition counseling, getting seniors connected to social services and helping seniors continue to live autonomously and with the highest quality of life possible as long as possible. Medi Cali and Medicare may pay for the costs associated with services of the Center for Elder Independence depending on eligibility.
Senior Services for Caregiving in Oakland
As you age, it’s normal to need some assistance with chores or daily activities. Oakland has several organizations that provide these services as well as support groups for seniors as well as their family and friends who may be caregivers. What caregiving resources entail depends on the organization and what they offer, so it’s important to always double check on what services are provided when you call.
1. Jewish Family and Community Services
Phone: (510) 684-6009 Website: https://jfcs-eastbay.org/contact/
The Jewish Family and Community Services of East Bay has geriatric social workers that help match up caregivers and with seniors. JFCS provides both home care and aging services, including in-home assessments, light housekeeping, cooking, transportation and assistance with activities of daily living. Its caregivers can provide a range of support including memory and palliative care options. It also is the only place in the East Bay area that has a specific group for Holocaust survivors. JFCS has a caregiver’s support group for adult children caring for older parents. The group talks about the specific challenges that come with caregiving and how to navigate issues and make sure to take care of yourself as well
2. Alegre Home Care
Address: 5767 Broadway, Suite 201, Oakland, CA 94618 Phone: (800) 598-4777 Website: https://www.alegrecare.com/
Alegre Home Care’s caregivers are local members of the community who are trained to provide compassionate care in a friendly, supportive manner. The company’s services include everything escorting clients to appointments and helping them complete walking and exercise programs to light cooking and housekeeping and medication reminders.
3. Thrive Home Care
Phone: (800) 410-8818 Website: https://www.thrivehomecare.com/
Thrive’s caregivers provide non-medical services, helping seniors with duties around the house they may no longer be able to do easily and providing companionship to help ease loneliness. The company can provide care on an hourly basis or round-the-clock, and it also provides respite care for friends or family members functioning as caregivers as well as transportation services.
4. CSS Home Care
Address: 1999 Harrison St., Ste. 1800, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 570-1445 Website: https://csshomecare.com/
CSS Home Care was founded by gerontologists and social workers, and its mission is to provide high-quality care to clients. It provides services for those dealing with a memory disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia as well as care for seniors recuperating from a hospital stay or surgery. Its caregivers help with activities of daily living like bathing and dressing as well as providing light housekeeping, medication reminders, exercise and companionship.
5. Dementia Caregiver Support Group
Address: Fabiola Building, 801 Howe Street, Ground floor, Room G-26, Oakland, CA 94611 Phone: (510) 752-7682 Website: https://thrive.kaiserpermanente.org/care-near-you/northern-california/eastbay/departments/dementia-caregiver-support-group/
Held on the Kaiser Permanente grounds, this support group is open to anyone who is a caregiver of someone with dementia. It’s free, and there’s no registration requires, so you can come as you can. The group discusses the difficulties of caring for someone with memory loss and can be a good place to find support for those caring for a spouse or other family member.
6. Family Caregiver Alliance
Phone: (800) 445-8106 Website: https://www.caregiver.org/support-groups
The Family Caregiver Alliance offers a variety of both in-person and online support groups. Caregiver support groups are available for those caring for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, brain injuries and other significant health conditions. The FCA also has support groups for friends and family members of the LGBT community. There are also Spanish-speaking support groups available that meet in San Francisco.
General Support Services for Seniors in Oakland
Sometimes seniors need support that doesn’t fall into one of the specific categories like housing or caregiving. Some common other areas include nutrition counseling to make sure you’re eating right for your age, health and activity level, help getting connected to other community resources and general social and companionship needs. Here are some of the community programs available for seniors that can help in these and other areas.
1. City of Oakland Multipurpose Senior Services Program
Address: 150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 238-2225 Website: https://www.oaklandca.gov/services/refer-a-client-to-the-multipurpose-senior-services-program
This organization is designed to help seniors who are trying to stay in their own homes as long as possible. It helps seniors maintain their independence by offering assistance with everything from homemaker services and specialized care plans to transportation services and referrals to many different resources, including medical care, legal services and financial counseling.
2. Legal Assistance for Seniors
Address: 333 Hegenberger Rd., Suite 850, Oakland, CA 94621 Phone: (510) 832-3040 Website: https://www.lashicap.org/
Legal Assistance for Seniors is an organization that provides free legal information and advice to seniors, including representing them at administrative hearings and in court. LAS can also refer seniors to other community resources. The organization was founded by a trio of women in 1976 who wanted to help protect seniors’ rights.
3. Cohen Cormier Group
Address: 2100 Embarcadero, Oakland, CA 94606 Phone: (510) 652-3377 Website: https://www.agingcare.com/local/cohen-cormier-group-llc-oakland-geriatric-care-managers-ca
A geriatric care management service, Cohen Cormier Group helps connect seniors and their family members to community resources that can help their situation. It does a personalized assessment and then creates a unique care plan for each individual that addresses their legal, financial and medical needs. The company specializes in helping family members of seniors who may live out of state or be too far away to coordinate things directly.
4. Senior Alternatives Care Management/Home Care Services Inc.
Address: 827 Broadway, Ste. 205, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 652-3377 Website: https://www.agingcare.com/local/senior-alternatives-care-mgmthome-care-svcs-inc-oakland-geriatric-care-managers-ca
Founded to help seniors better manage their care and needs, this geriatric care management company does an assessment of the client’s needs, creates a personalized care plan and then connects them to whatever community resources may be helpful.
Activities for Seniors in Oakland
Oakland is part of the Bay area, and that means that it’s anything but short on cultural opportunities and things to do. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to spend a Friday night, want to take in a show or like to enjoy the fresh air outdoors, there’s something for everyone. Most of these places are accessible via public transit or one of the ride-sharing services listed above.
Address: 2501 Harrison Street, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 444-4755 Website: https://www.stagebridge.org/
The Stagebridge Performing Arts Institute is home to the first professional training program for older adults and is something that seniors who enjoy theater, dance or music can enjoy. It holds classes and workshops geared to adults over age 50, and participants have the chance to take part in performances for the community. In particular, Stagebridge has senior storytellers go into the elementary schools in Oakland and share their skills and gift for entertainment.
2. Oakland Museum
Address: 1000 Oak St, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 318-8400 Website: https://museumca.org/
Seniors interested in the arts, natural science or history can enjoy an outing to the Oakland Museum of California. In addition to its regular exhibits and operating hours, OMC has special Friday night activities, weekend tours and a garden space that is free to the public. Admission for seniors 65 and over is $11. Children ages 9-17 are $7, and children 8 and under are free, which makes it an excellent stop for when the grandkids are in to visit.
3. Paramount Theatre
Address: 2025 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 465-6400 Website: http://www.paramounttheatre.com/
Located in the vibrant downtown area, the Paramount Theatre seats more than 3,000 people and is the home of the Oakland Ballet and the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Performances regularly include a variety of music from jazz and blues to gospel and classical as well as stand-up comedy and special lecture series. The venue also screens Hollywood’s classic movies, which seniors can enjoy.
4. Fox Theatre
Address: 1807 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 302-2250 Website: http://thefoxoakland.com/
Founded in 1928, the Fox Theatre is a concert hall located in downtown Oakland. The venue can fit up to 2,800 people, and shows include concert performances as well as stand-up comedy. Parking is $15, and the venue can get busy on weekends and during popular shows, so seniors may want to use transportation services to get to and from the theater.
5. Jack London Square
Address: 472 Water St, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 645-9292 Website: https://jacklondonsquare.com/
Jack London Square has been a noted landmark in the Oakland area since the mid-1800s and is the only mixed-use waterfront area in the community that is open to the public. The waterfront is a great place to take an evening stroll to enjoy the historic sites, and English buffs can get a first-hand look at where author Jack London spent many hours of his childhood. Free harbor tours are also available, and there are multiple dining and entertainment venues across the square.
6. Chabot Space Center
Address: 10000 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619 Phone: (510) 336-7300 Website: https://chabotspace.org/
The Chabot Space and Science Center is a popular attraction in the Oakland area, offering hands-on exhibits that let you see how science works in the everyday world. The facility includes a big screen theater with regular showings, planetariums and three telescopes to get an up-close glimpse of the sky. It’s located on 13 acres in Redwood Regional Park and has plenty of trails where you can explore the outdoors and see the famous redwood trees. Seniors get a $3 discount on admission, and children ages 3 to 14 cost $14 for those bringing family along.
7. Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Address: 388 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 637-0455 Website: https://oacc.cc/
The Oakland Asian Cultural Center is a community arts organization that features local artists. The center hosts community events throughout the year, including art exhibitions, lectures, classes and festivals. OACC also has numerous volunteer opportunities for interested seniors to help with events or serve on committees.
8. The New Parkway Theater
Address: 474 24th St, Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 658-7900 (movie line) or (510) 338-3228 (theater office) Website: https://www.thenewparkway.com/
The New Parkway Theater is a cinema that shows both new movies as well as older films that are considered cult classics. Special programming events are also held throughout the year, including the venue’s Drink and Draw and Bingo and Beer nights. The theater includes a cafe where you can take advantage of a full menu of food, wine and beer, and you can even get food delivered right to your theater seat for convenience.
9. Lake Merritt
Phone: (510) 238-3187 Website: https://www.lakemerritt.org/
Located in downtown Oakland and home to the oldest wildlife refuge in the country, Lake Merritt is a tidal lagoon that spans 140 acres. It includes a 3-mile shoreline in the shape of a heart where you can get out and enjoy the waterfront while getting in your daily exercise. The lake has gardens to explore and plenty of birdwatching opportunities, and there are volunteer positions available for interested seniors.
10. North Oakland Senior Center Tai Chi Classes
Address: 5714 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland, CA 94609 Phone: (510) 597-5085 Website: https://www.oaklandca.gov/topics/north-oakland-senior-center
If you’re interested in a low-impact exercise that can also help you reduce stress levels, tai chi is an excellent option. Classes are held in the former University High School building now functioning as the North Oakland Senior Center. The center also offers salsa, line and swing dancing classes and holds annual events like dances and flea markets.
Companions for Seniors in Oakland
While all of these services and activities mean plenty of things for seniors to do, it can still be difficult to take advantage of them if you’re on your own. Whether you want to visit the museum, take a walk around the park or just sit and chat over tea with a friendly face, Mon Ami companions are friends you haven’t met yet who are just waiting to help you enjoy everything Oakland has to offer.
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