Featured Stories

9/20/2021 Hong Lok

Aging

The light of mind and soul can shine ever more brightly even as our bodies grow old.

— Gabor Mate M.D.

Baby boomers are now spending one-third of their lives in retirement.  Age possibly brings its share of cognitive and physical deterioration.  Golden years also attach other unavoidable losses, such as farewell with long-time colleagues, inefficient performance, and demotivation in achieving goals.  Moreover, the elders may sense their life is meaningless because they witness relatives and friends leave one after another. 

Is aging indicating the entry to unproductivity and uselessness?

Hong Lok Senior Center assists our members in experiencing retirement as a gift and enjoying this time by far the richest and happiest of their lives. 

First, seniors must take good care of their bodies and maintain strength for enjoying and engaging in purposeful action in the years ahead while making a meaningful contribution to the world of tomorrow. 

Theodore Roszak has a new vision of how greatly seniors may treasure their values and career accomplishments regardless of their success stories.  The past is not enough.  As he described:

Boomers who will usher us into senior dominance are the best-educated, most socially conscientious, most politically savvy older generation the world has ever seen.  Given sufficient awareness and inspiration, I believe that the age will want to do good things with the power that history has unexpectedly thrust upon it in its senior years.

In the Hong Lok Senior Center, we noticed some members are enthusiastic about calligraphy; a group is striving to coach the youth.  Some are passionate advocates who fundraise for those in need, and others contribute life experiences to bolster humanity.  All such activities somehow shape society for a better future, which proves the positive tendency in the world.

We also discovered the elders are flexing their empathy muscles and constantly learning to recognize the inherent values of each other.  We must acknowledge that these energetic seniors are a privileged group.  They have so much and want to contribute, always not enough time to accomplish everything in a day.  They are the proof of positive that aging is a time to soar on the current of hope in human goodness.  Every member is a unique, rapidly moving cohort toward a new horizon that flourishes their lives that feels energizing and purposeful.

 

Contributed by Johnny DaRosa

8/2/2021 Hong Fook Adult Day Health Care Center

Client’s Story – Mr. Lee 

Mr. Lee is a 39-year-old cheerful person who felt he was the happiest man on earth when he married his wife.  Two years after their marriage, he had a horrific car accident, leaving him largely wheelchair-bound.  Mr. Lee joined Hong Fook Adult Day Health Care Center 4 years ago.  He suffered from traumatic brain injury, depression, cognitive impairment, and poor memory.

Mr. Lee’s wife, a new immigrant herself, had become the sole breadwinner for the family.  The financial strain on the family has taken a toll on their marriage which began to deteriorate.  Feeling in despair, Mr. Lee attempted to commit suicide multiple times. 

Mr. Lee met with our center’s social worker and began intensive weekly individual therapy, family meetings, and marital counseling.  The social worker also worked closely with the multidisciplinary team, in particular, the center’s occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist, and registered nurse in Mr. Lee’s rehabilitation process.  Mr. Lee also built a supportive network at the center and a very trustful relationship with all levels of staff. 

Mr. Lee received intensive mobility training at the center and worked very hard at his exercise regime.  Within a few months, Mr. Lee has shown dramatic improvement in his mobility.  He transitioned from being largely wheelchair-bound to using a walker, and now, a quad cane only.  He has regained his confidence and hope in life.

 

Contributed by Jenny Szeto

07/19/21 

 

Imagine one day you wake up and realize that next year won’t exist.  All your dreams and plans, will not be fulfilled.   Will you be able to pursue your dreams now?

Eighteen years after her death, South Asian-born immigrant Astronaut Kalpana Chawla continues to inspire young immigrants. Chawla graduated with an engineering degree in India and came to America as an international student, earning a master’s degree and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. She became an American citizen, and NASA selected her into the astronaut program.

In 1997, she became the first woman of South Asian origin to fly in space. Chawla and six crew members died on February 1, 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry during its second mission.

“She was different, and she was special from her childhood.   As a father, all I did was not clip her wings. She wanted to fly.  I just let her fly freely.” said Chawl’s father.

Even though Chawla’s life was short, she turned her dream into a legacy lasting forever. She stood tall, viewed far, and flew high. Life isn’t about the destination; it is about the journey. A journey where what happens along the way is just as important as reaching the end, and where neither success nor failure is seen as the end goal.

Our journey always involves taking chances and looking for opportunities to bring the world to higher ground.

We all have unique sets of circumstances in our lives that prevent us from executing our dreams.   And we tend to become inert pursuing such dreams because we fear that we may fail.

Don’t give up, keep chasing your dreams. One day, when you look back on your life, you will have less regret.  Believe in yourself, in your future, and you will find your way.

07/02/21 – Community Health Home

 

New Process to Request a Copy of Your Social Security Card

 

Sonya needed help with getting a copy of her social security card but didn’t know what to do since the Social Security Administration Office is closed to the public due to Covid-19. 

She called the Social Security Office’s 800 numbers and a representative told her that she can either create an online account or mail in an application, Form SS-5, with her ID to request a copy of her social security card.

She went online to the Social Security Administration website and tried creating an online account but it would not let her because it was unable to verify her information on file.  Her other option was to mail in an application with her ID, but she only had one ID and didn’t want to be without it.  Conflicted, she did not know what to do and sought advice from one of the Family Bridges staff that works at Oak Street Community Cabins where she currently resides. 

The staff was able to call the Social Security Office with Sonya to set up a virtual meeting with one of the Social Security Administration’s representatives.  The representative set a time and provided a link to have an online meeting which requires either an iPhone or a computer. 

The meeting was set an hour after the initial phone call.  The representative verified Sonya’s identification and initiated her request to get a copy of her social security card.  A process that took about 15 minutes to complete and a couple of weeks later she received her card in the mail.

Not a lot of people are aware of this new process.  But it’s one that works best if you have doubts about sending in your ID with the paper application or cannot create an online account with the Social Security Administration.

 

Contributed by David Le

Sonya has been without her social security card for more than 3 years until now.

6/18/2021 – Lake Merritt Childcare Center 

Safety at Child Care Remains a Priority

At the Family Bridges, Inc. Lake Merritt Child Care Center, the safety of our students, staff, and families is paramount. Here is what has been implemented:

  • All staff must continue to wear face coverings even though they are fully vaccinated.
  • For children over the age of 2, face coverings are strongly recommended.
  • Parents and visitors are not allowed to enter classroom areas.
  • All staff and students must perform the following before entering the facility:
    • Have their temperatures taken with a non-contact thermometer daily and complete a health screening questionnaire.
    • Step on a disinfecting mat.
    • Change into their clean shoes for school indoor use.
    • Wash their hands.
  • Students are separated into small groups and seated apart.
  • Commonly touched items and surfaces, such as toys, tables, faucet handles, toilets, doorknobs, etc., are disinfected regularly.
  • Cots and blankets are disinfected after every use.

Any person with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter and will only be allowed to return after completing a COVID-19 test with a negative result.

Should someone at the facility test positive for COVID-19, we will notify the Alameda County Public Health Department and follow the guidance provided.

Our dedicated staff has created a clean, safe, and fun environment for the students.

 

Contributed by Elaine Tam

5/24/2021 – Hong Fook CBAS Program

 

Our Client’s Story – Mr. Ku

 

Mr. Ku, a 70-year old immigrant from China, suffered a stroke six years ago. As is typical with strokes, Mr. Ku was left with significant impairment for walking and speaking. His life was turned upside down.  He could not be independent and conduct his life the way he was used to.

Mr. Ku joined Hong Fook Center shortly after his stroke and with the help of our multidisciplinary staff interventions, began to rebuild his life. Not only was he active in our rehabilitation program which included speech, physical and occupational therapies, he met new friends whose support gave him hope and meaning to his life.

Mr. Ku also faced eviction from his home due to a rent increase. And the Hong Fook Center social worker helped him apply for senior housing.

Now, Mr. Ku walks with a cane instead of a walker and he only has minor impairment with speech.  He lives in subsidized senior housing and thanks to Hong Fook Center his life is whole again.

 

 

Contributed by Stephanie Liu & Annie Zeng Lam