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Setting up a Caring Neighborhoods GroupWeb banner showing older adult female and younger adult female

“Recent trends documenting changes in family structure and process reinforce the need to look at support beyond the family.”

-"Connection Counts: friendship and intimacy make later years healthful and rich."

Aging Today, American Society on Aging, July-August 2013

Caring Neighborhoods aims to encourage neighbors to connect with older neighbors in order to reduce isolation and loneliness and promote safe and independent community living. The effort is based on the premise that neighborhood residents are genuinely concerned about the well-being of their older neighbors but are often unsure how to help them. One way to do this is to recruit one or two other neighbors to form an informal group. Working within a small group means less time commitment for busy neighbors and provides group back-up and support, while developing useful and friendly neighborhood connections.

How does it work?

  • Younger adult male watering plants for older adult maleEducational materials are shared with Neighborhood Associations and other groups and individuals in order to increase awareness of issues related to growing older in the community.

  • Two or three neighbors decide to get together and reach out to the older people on their block. As an informal group, they can provide back up to each other and form new friendships with older neighbors together.

  • Caring Neighborhoods can provide outreach flyers, resource materials that can be shared with senior neighbors, up-to-date information about the challenges of growing older in your community, and suggestions of ways to identify and connect with those who need and seek assistance.

  • If needed, Caring Neighborhoods can assist with referrals to more formal services and supports.

  • Do not over-commit yourself. A group of three can provide one hour a week to three elders, a service that can make a big difference to someone. If one hour is all you feel you can offer, then that is enough.
  • It is important to respect your neighbor’s privacy. Do not share personal information outside of your Caring Neighborhoods group. As a friend and neighbor, you can help your elder neighbor maintain some control over his or her life by respecting the right to share confidences without fear that confidential information will be passed on to others.

  • Enjoy the satisfaction of making a big difference for your elder neighbors, with a minimal time commitment, while making new friends at the same time!

  • There may be times when you encounter a situation that requires more help than you can provide. When in doubt about what to do, don’t hesitate to call 211 for the resources you need or consult with the City of Sacramento's Older Adult Services staff to discuss your concerns. If you suspect neglect, extreme isolation, or financial abuse, call Sacramento County Adult protective Services (916) 874-9377 right away. Not only is your call an act of kindness, it is completely confidential and always welcome.