Senior Safety Escort Program to launch by Sacramento’s ACC

The program was made for seniors in the community to feel safer going about their daily lives and for volunteers to help them re-integrate into the community.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento’s Asian Community Center has partnered with the Sacramento Senior Safety Collaborative to create the Senior Escort Program.

The program was made for seniors in the community to feel safer going about their daily lives and for volunteers to help them re-integrate into the community.

After the rise in Asian American Pacific Islander hate incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors in the AAPI community felt unsafe.

“Studies have shown that after the pandemic, we’ve seen a 28% increase in anxiety and fear in seniors, along with 19% of seniors feeling more lonely and sad,” said Dani Lee, Lifelong Learning and Wellness Program Manager at ACC Senior Services and Program Manager for the Senior Safety Escort Program.

The ACC has “soft launched” the program and so far, the volunteers have accompanied the seniors on walks, helped with grocery shopping trips, taken tai chi classes together, and more.

“I get so much out of this program,” said Jessie Lee, a participant of the Senior Safety Escort Program. “If it wasn’t for it, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house as much as I do. I’m able to get around, I can go shopping and things like that, but sometimes I kind of worry in case Anything happens. You read all these things in the newspaper and you can’t help but mentally think that maybe something could happen. But with an escort, I feel so safe all the time.”

Jessie Lee is consistent about her Tai Chi classes and makes sure she has an escort that can walk her there and back. She told ABC10 that if she doesn’t have an escort scheduled for the day, she won’t go to Tai Chi on her own.

The focus of the program is to help these seniors be comfortable with others and encourage physical activity after being in isolation for so long. This program also plans to help seniors maintain their independence and their health.

“It’s a great way for me to just engage with seniors and I have learned so much from them,” said Titus Toyama, board member for the ACC and volunteer for the Senior Safety Escort Program. “I’ve learned about their lives and how they’ve stayed active so as I get further along in my retirement years, I’m learning lessons myself about how to stay active, how to be involved with the community, and how to just enjoy life and not be constrained by being alone.”

Human connection is something a lot of seniors missed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many lived by themselves, with their significant other, or a family member so they were limited to who they spoke to or interacted with.

Now with this program, the seniors and even the volunteers appreciate that one-on-one time with another person, older or younger than themselves.

“When you live by yourself, it’s hard to get motivated and sometimes I just can’t,” said Lee. “I can turn the TV on or someone can tell me something but doing it by yourself is just not the thing. I think one of the most wonderful part of all this is the social part of it. Being able to connect with other human beings is wonderful. Every volunteer has been great.”

To celebrate the ACC’s 50th anniversary, they will be fully launching their Senior Safety Escort Program on Saturday, September 17th with something called an “Ohana Walk”. Ohana means family in Hawaiian and the ACC really strives to be a community to care.

The Ohana Walk is going to be 2.5 miles along the Greenhaven Canal Parkway in Sacramento to promote wellness within the community. So far, there have been over 700 people that have registered, and they’re looking for more participants!

You can visit the Asian Community Center’s website at for more information about the program and about the Ohana Walk.

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