“Getting old is like climbing a mountain; you get a little out of breath, but the view is much better!” – Ingrid Bergman

By 2030, more than 9 million Californians will be 65 or older – it’s a silver tsunami! With so many senior citizens in our community, it’s important to make sure they are safe, secure and well cared for. Nonprofits all over the Bay Area are making this a priority, with countless opportunities for volunteers to get involved. From providing health care and housing to connecting generations and caring for the aging, there are myriad ways to help make someone’s golden years golden.

Get started

  • Help an elderly neighbor – bring them a homemade meal, give them a hand with yard work or drive them to the store. Something small could make their day. 
  • Become a newspaper roller and join a group of environmentally minded seniors who help collect, sort, flatten and roll donated newspapers to be sold to florists. All proceeds benefit Yu-Ai Kai, a Japanese-American community senior service that offers an array of activities and programs.
  • Donate or volunteer at a food bank that helps provide meals to the elderly. Loaves and Fishes and Second Harvest bring healthy, nutritious food to those in need, and have weekly volunteer opportunities.

Dig deeper

  • If you want to help seniors with basic needs, such as transportation, in-home repairs and services, assistance with shopping, advocacy and companionship, volunteer with Heart of the Valley.
  • The Saratoga Area Senior Coordinating Council needs volunteers to drive for its RYDE program, which transports seniors to appointments, grocery shopping, social visits and more within the West Valley.
  • Volunteer with Avenidas Blooms, a program that spreads joy by delivering beautiful bouquets to senior centers and homebound seniors. Volunteers create and deliver these bouquets, which are made with donated flowers and vases.

All in

  • Consider becoming a Meals on Wheels driver to deliver hot meals and provide companionship to homebound adults during the week. The Health Trust offers opportunities for volunteers to get involved.
  • Apply to join the Senior Citizens Commission with the City of San Jose to study, review, evaluate and make recommendations to the city council about the seniors in your community. Meetings are on the second Thursday of every month and terms are three years long.
  • Volunteer with a hospice program like Hospice of the Valley to care for patients. There are many different ways to get involved, including direct patient care, clerical support, community outreach, and by applying skills like art, massage, hairdressing and language assistance.



(888) 687-2277

AARP is a nonpartisan organization that helps people 50 and older improve the quality of their lives.

AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation, the charitable affiliate of AARP, works with struggling people 50 and over. It focuses on four priorities where immediate action and legal advocacy will have the greatest impact: hunger, income, housing and isolation.

Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada
(408) 372-9900
The Alzheimer’s Association works to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; provides support for all affected; and aims to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Asian Americans for Community Involvement
(408) 975-2730
AACI serves the Asian American community by providing an array of services, including some specifically for seniors, to improve the health and well-being of individuals.

(650) 289-5400
Avenidas helps older adults to be as active, engaged and healthy as possible through programs related to wellness, learning, leisure, technology, community and more.

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
(408) 468-0100
Catholic Charities serves and advocates for families and individuals in need, especially those living in poverty. Rooted in Gospel values, it works to create a more just and compassionate community in which people of all cultures and beliefs can participate.

Coda Alliance
(408) 282-8922
Coda Alliance provides practical skills and tools for people to plan and receive the end-of-life care they desire.

ElderWisdomCircle pairs online advice seekers in their teens, 20s and 30s with a nationwide network of Cyber-Grandparents, ages 60 to 105, who share their knowledge and accumulated wisdom.

Heart of Hope Asian American Hospice Care
(408) 986-8584
Heart of Hope provides physical, emotional, social and spiritual support to terminally ill Asian American patients and their family members throughout much of the Bay Area.

Heart of the Valley, Services for Seniors
(408) 241-1571
Heart of the Valley is committed to facilitating, advocating for and supporting independent living for seniors residing in West Santa Clara County.

Health Trust
(408) 513-8700  
The Health Trust works to advance wellness for all, especially the most vulnerable, in Silicon Valley. Focus areas include food and nutrition, chronic disease and housing.

Hope Services
(408) 284-2850
Hope Services works to improve quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities, including seniors, by providing a variety of services.

Hospice of the Valley
(408) 559-5600  
Hospice of the Valley exists to support patients and their families with high-caliber hospice and palliative care at the end of life.

Live Oak Adult Day Services
(408) 971-9363
Live Oak Adult Day Care supports clients unable to live independently through dedicated caregivers and activities for socialization, exercise, music and art. 

Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen
(408) 922-9085
Loaves & Fishes provides free, nutritious meals and support services in a dignified, safe and caring environment to all needy individuals, with special concern for families, seniors and the homeless.

(408) 678-8585
Senior OUTREACH provides benefits counseling (Social Security, Medi-Cal and Medicaid), advocacy, transportation and other services (housing and food) to low-income older persons needing assistance getting through bureaucratic red tape.

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley
(408) 578-9519
Rebuilding Together rehabilitates the homes of low-income homeowners so they may live in warmth, safety and independence.

Salvation Army Silicon Valley
(408) 998-2064 
The Salvation Army operates a
Senior Nutrition Center, which provides hot, healthy meals for seniors every day. The center also offers opportunities for seniors to socialize through bingo games, movie nights, dance classes and more.

Saratoga Area Senior Coordinating Council
Saratoga: (408) 868-1257
Los Gatos: (408) 703-6621
SASCC provides access to physical and social activities along with resource services that improve the overall quality of life for aging adults in our community.

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley
(408) 266-8866
Second Harvest distributes healthy food to those in need through a network of partners.

(239) 275- 2202
SeniorNet provides older adults with computer-related education to enhance their lives and enable them to share their knowledge and wisdom.

Senior Adults Legal Assistance
(408) 295-5991
SALA is a nonprofit elder law office that supports older persons in their efforts to live independently and with dignity.

Sourcewise Community Resource Solutions
(408) 350-3200
Sourcewise aims to inform, educate and prepare all adults, including seniors, within Santa Clara County to better navigate their health and life options.

Young at Heart Project
(408) 446-0402  
Young at Heart Project improves the well-being of seniors and the disabled confined to convalescent homes and other residential care facilities by bringing them live, high-quality, professional musical entertainment.

Yu-Ai Kai
(408) 294-2505
Yu-Ai Kai, a Japanese American community senior service in San Jose’s Japantown, serves seniors with an array of activities and programs including day services, daily lunch, social services, transportation and cultural activities.

Chapter Editor

This Field Guide chapter was edited by Lili Newberry.

Lili Newberry is a student at Notre Dame High School in San Jose and will graduate in 2022.

When she’s not editing the Field Guide, she likes to play volleyball, make art and spend time with friends.

Lili volunteers with Village House shelter and Walden West summer camp; she enjoys giving back to the community and learning more about it in the process. 

No Excuses

Visit a retirement home.

Start a tradition.

Talk to the mail carrier.

Share your skills.

Check in on your elderly neighbors.