Kawabe Memorial House Programs
Through a partnership with Cisco Systems, we were able to wire our building for high speed wireless Internet. We have a computer lab with more than 20 computers, all on-line and multi-language capable. We offer free computer classes to the seniors in three languages. If a senior would like to have Internet access in their apartment, they pay a minimal one time only hook up fee. We have also recently installed a web cam which allows the seniors to visit with family in other countries.
Our seniors requested multi-language TV because they found they could not afford the prices charged by private broadcasters. We were able to leverage grant funds to purchase the necessary equipment to install our own cable TV system. The seniors picked the stations they wanted. They are now able to have 50 channels in 6 languages for only $15 per month. The seniors are now able to enjoy movies in their own language as well as stay connected with the world by watching the news in a language they can understand.
Through our partnership with Senior Services, we are able to provide nutritious, ethnically appropriate meals to the seniors in our community. We prepare the meals on-site. Anyone who is 60 or older can have lunch for a $3 donation. This program serves not only our residents but many seniors living alone in the community. The seniors come to Kawabe House for lunch and get to know the staff which allows us to help them with other issues they may have.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
One of our goals is to help seniors remain independent, as long as they can be safe. We identified housekeeping assistance as one issue that was causing some of our seniors difficulty. As seniors age, they sometimes don't have the mobility to clean their bathrooms, the top of the refrigerator, or other hard to reach places. It is very difficult, and dangerous, for them to climb on step ladders or get up and down on the floor. We were able to partner with another non-profit to provide those seniors with some hours of free housekeeping each week. This has allowed our seniors to remain in their homes safely.
We work hard to ensure that our seniors maintain their health and independence by providing one nutritious meal daily. Last year, we served more than 15,000 meals. In addition, we offer exercise classes three days per week, yoga two days per week, tai chi/line dancing five days per week and have two treadmills and one stationary bicycle. This summer, we plan to remodel our basement to house a new gym for the seniors. We need to purchase a new stationary bicycle that is shorter to accomodate our seniors and a piece of equipment that will allow them to build upper body strength. Regular exercise helps our seniors to remain independent and assists them in fending off depression.