2016 marks an important and exciting transition for KEIRO. Formerly, KEIRO’s impact was achieved within the four walls of each of its high quality health care facilities. With the sale of the facilities, KEIRO has significantly expanded its potential reach. Now its value will be measured by its impact on the lives of Japanese American or Japanese older adults, their families, and caregivers in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties.
Program Areas, Needs, and Methodology
KEIRO’s three core program areas are:
- Services to Older Adults
- Support of Caregivers
- Programs for Current Residents of KEIRO’s Former Facilities
In order to achieve greatest impact, we are prioritizing how KEIRO can best serve Japanese American and Japanese older adults in Our Community in greatest need and who are most vulnerable. These populations include older adults who are facing challenges due to:
- Low income
- Multiple health conditions
- Memory and cognitive disabilities
- Monolingual Japanese speaking
- Immigration and residency status
- Oldest of the old
Our approach will use a holistic framework of Genki Living® which views aging through the lens of eight dimensions of wellbeing: physical, occupational, financial, intellectual, emotional social, spiritual, and environmental.
Many organizations share this dedication to providing services to older adults in Our Community or supporting their caregivers. KEIRO wants to build upon their fine work and lend our capacity to help fill important gaps. Four strategies will be used to pursue our priorities and enhance the work of others who share our goals:
- Collaboration and partnership
- Convening service providers across sectors to foster greater communication, coordination, sharing and learning, and field building
- Design of new programs to address critical gaps
Collaboration and Partnerships. Many other organizations serving needs in the Japanese American and Japanese community are providing social services and educational programming to older adults. Some are responding to the immediate needs of caregivers for resources and support. KEIRO doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel or duplicate efforts. Thus, we will seek to partner with community organizations to enhance their efforts. Working together, we can strengthen existing programs, increase services, and fill critical gaps. Partnership and collaboration is our top priority among the four strategies.
Grants Program. KEIRO grantmaking will be targeted to support organizations that are serving older adults and their caregivers in Our Community. This will provide an immediate infusion of resources to help expand and strengthen existing programs. In addition, it could encourage community organizations to design new services that harness their knowledge and connections to older adults and their families. The grantmaking program will be goal oriented, long term, transparent, and objective.
Convening. Gathering service providers periodically and regularly is a cost effective way to increase services to older adults and their caregivers. It enables organizations currently providing services to get to know each other and learn about each other’s work. It fosters sharing resources, perspectives, tools and lessons learned, especially in reaching the neediest and most isolated older adults with culturally sensitive approaches. It helps everyone avoid duplication and stimulates collaboration. KEIRO hopes to convene organizations from multiple sectors, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, grantmakers, health care providers and community groups, including churches, temples, clubs, and associations.
New Program Design. Key gaps in service delivery will emerge through collaboration, grantmaking, and convening. KEIRO will identify how it could design and implement new programs to fill urgent needs. Where other organizations often have to make hard choices due to lack of resources or the challenges of annual fundraising, KEIRO has greater freedom to undertake important programs for older adults and their caregivers in Our Community that may require significant investment of resources over time. Examples are: individualized needs assessment and interventions, in home care and support, and services rooted in one on one discussions with older adults and their families and caregivers to cope with multiple conditions, high needs, or end of life planning. That requires patience, cultural sensitivity, and trust established overtime.
Pursuing these four new strategies and adopting a regional approach require a culture shift and organizational change from top to bottom. We are recruiting a new President/CEO to lead our work. In the coming months, KEIRO will transform the board of directors to add individuals with new experience and skills, and also a strong level of engagement and knowledge of the community and its needs. Effective leadership will be vital to the successful implementation of KEIRO’s New Vision Framework.