Community Based Adult Services

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State Accused of Denying Seniors Day Care Access

By Mina Kim

66-year-old Esfandiar Asbagh is waiting to learn if he is eligible for state adult day care services.  (Mina Kim: KQED)

66-year-old Esfandiar Asbagh is waiting to learn if he is eligible for state adult day care services. (Mina Kim: KQED)

Golden State Adult Day Health Care in San Francisco serves seniors primarily from Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. As I walked in, I saw immediately that I was underdressed. All around were seniors pushing walkers, and they were wearing glittering sweaters, fur hats or chiffon skirts.

“This is mostly clothes from fifty years ago,” Center Director Katya Hope says. “But you look like you’re going to the opera because in fact, this is the major chance to socialize.”

Socializing is why 83-year-old Berta Vekhman says she loves it here.

“We cannot stay alone. When we are alone, we are dead,” Vekhman says. “because we stay alone and nobody at home you cannot talk to somebody. You forget how to talk.”

The prospect of being home alone is hard on her. “I cry all day, all day.”

Vekhman suffers from diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease and needs help using the bathroom. She is prone to depression which she says has worsened since January. That’s when state officials deemed her — and 2,000 other seniors — ineligible for services.

Vekhman was receiving care through the Adult Day Health Care program. Through the program, independent centers, like Golden State, provided physical therapy, mental health treatment and a chance to socialize. Continue reading