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Little Tokyo Service Center Partnership Initiative

For decades, Keiro and Little Tokyo Service Center have provided health and mental health-related services and programs for Japanese American and Japanese older adults and their caregivers. In August of 2017, the two organizations announced a partnership initiative to expand and enhance LTSC’s existing bilingual services, while integrating Keiro’s experience, knowledge and resources.

For many older adults, managing healthcare needs and other personal affairs can be daunting. The stress of responding to letters from the Social Security Administration, arranging transportation for medical appointments, or resolving problems with a landlord can lead to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Among Japanese American and Japanese older adults, there is a significant need for supportive services.

This is especially prevalent among the monolingual Japanese-speaking population. Friends and family members who assume the responsibility of caring for older adults face their own set of challenges and can themselves benefit from information and support.

The partnership initiative with LTSC assists older adults in Our Community through:

Support of the Far East Lounge

The Far East Lounge is a multipurpose gathering space for older adults who live in and visit Little Tokyo. This partnership will provide the necessary staff to provide outreach to individuals who are socially isolated and may not have the social support available through a church or community organization. Additionally, the Far East Lounge seeks to address the cultural taboo of mental health by identifying and interfacing with individuals whose lifestyles are subject to mental health services.

Expansion of Caregiver Support

LTSC has a dedicated group of bilingual social workers and care managers who assist older adults with tasks such as navigating government benefits, translating health and government-related documents, facilitating support groups, and maintaining a registry of care providers for those needing assistance in the home. This partnership will provide an additional caregiver support specialist, which will allow LTSC and Keiro to counsel more families, offer additional workshops, expand the number of support groups, and recruit and train more care providers to build the registry into a robust resource.

Establishment of and Contribution to the Client Assistance Fund

The client assistance fund provides temporary aid to older adults, who are without other resources, to help them overcome financial predicaments.