Support Keiro’s work to improve the quality of life for older adults in Our Community.
Due to COVID-19, Keiro has decided to transition all of our scheduled in-person events in 2020 to alternative formats. Read full statement here.
Dorothy Kirkland is an Elder at First Presbyterian Church Altadena, and she works with other congregation members to support the church’s senior ministry. For the past six years, Dorothy has been an active participant in many of the congregation’s events, including Keiro’s programs.
She recalled, “Although our
church frequently offered workshops to our seniors, Keiro’s courses are more
closely focused on information [that is] relevant to older adults in the Japanese
American and Japanese community. This has been an added plus for our members
who participate in these Keiro courses.”
Dorothy has participated in
nearly all of the courses Keiro offers, from Memory Kai to the Diabetes
Self-Management Program and A Matter Balance. But she has found the
Introduction to iPad and AARP Safe Driver courses to be the most impactful. “The
Introduction to iPad course definitely broke the language barrier between my
new iPad and me, and it is now my new best friend,” said Dorothy. The class
gave her the basic tools and confidence to then expand her usage of her iPad
beyond emails, taking photos, and connecting to the internet. “Now I download books,
music, and podcasts; pay bills; watch movies; and get weather reports. And I’m
Similarly, refreshing familiar
knowledge was another benefit of Keiro’s classes. Through the AARP Safe Driver
Course, facilitated by Keiro, Dorothy was able to change her driving habits,
commenting, “I had not realized how aging inhibits one’s driving abilities.” She
has now become more careful when switching lanes and backing up, and
consciously avoids heavy traffic areas where people may be in a hurry or
stressed out. She is also aware that she has a slower reaction time and a
limited depth perception now, which helps her better understand her
Through collaboration with
Keiro, Dorothy also familiarized herself with a prevalent issue among older
adults: social isolation. Learning how important socialization is to one’s health, as a
church Elder, she has prioritized bringing older members out to community
events more frequently.
Dorothy said, “the most
unexpected benefits in Keiro’s courses had to do with the opportunity for older
adults to socialize with friends and, meet new friends in the community. But
most of all, to realize that there are people and organizations who care about
them and are committed to offer activities and programs designed to enhance their
quality of life.”
“That’s the intangible benefits of participating in the Keiro classes,” she emphasized. What they learned from Keiro motivated Dorothy and other church volunteers to start their own programming, such as the Otomodachi Outreach Project, partially supported by the Keiro Grants Program. Dorothy has found ways to not only help herself as she ages, but other congregation and community members too.
Read Roy Onishi’s story of alternative transportation
Read Gini Ishida’s story of designing a program at First Presbyterian Church of Altadena
Read Kay Yamada’s story of learning advanced iPad techniques
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