Senior Resources

In addition to the following links to senior resources, the library subscribes to these relevant newsletters and magazines:

  • AARP: The Magazine
  • Aging Today
  • Arthritis Advisor (Cleveland Clinic)
  • Arthritis Today
  • Focus on Healthy Aging (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)
  • Healthy/Years (UCLA Division of Geriatrics)
  • Hearing Health
  • Hearing Life
  • Mind, Mood & Memory (Massachusetts General Hospital)
  • Health After 50 (School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley)

Local and Local Resources

2•1•1 San Diego – This website and 24-hour free phone service (dial 211) connects people with community, health, and disaster services in San Diego County. Services may be searched by agency name, location, or service provided. Includes information for more than 6,000 health and human service programs provided by more than 1,200 community agencies. There is an option to view the website in seven languages in addition to English.

Aging and Independence Services – San Diego County provides services to older adults, people with disabilities and their family members, to help keep clients safely in their homes, promote healthy and vital living, and publicize positive contributions made by older adults and persons with disabilities. Services include adult protective services, caregiver support, health promotions, mental health, nutrition services, veterans services and others.

CaregiverSD.com – This site is hosted by the San Diego Union-Tribune and offers in-depth resources and support for family caregivers and seniors in need of information and assistance. Website includes articles and links to resources on caregiving essentials, getting help, dementia care, staying healthy, housing choices, and financial matters. There is a calendar of upcoming local events on health and caregiving as well as a chatroom for communicating with other caregivers.

Elder Law and Advocacy – Provides civil legal services in San Diego and Imperial Counties, including Senior Legal Services, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), Elder Abuse Restraining Order Representation Project, Caregiver Legal Support, and Nursing Home Rights Enforcement Project. Most services are free to qualifying seniors.

Long Term Care Ombudsman – The primary responsibility of this State of California program is to investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, residential care facilities for the elderly, and assisted living facilities. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates elder abuse complaints in long-term care facilities. The 24/7 state CRISISline number is 800-231-4024, and San Diego County numbers are 800-640-4661 or 858-560-2507.

San Diego Eldercare Directory – Local source for senior interests, including Housing, In-Home Solutions, Equipment and Services for Special Needs; Nutrition Services; Health Care; Mental Health Services; Caregiving Information and Support; Education and Jobs; Financial Matters; Insurance; Legal Matters; Transportation Services; Senior Centers, Organizations and Activities; and End-of-Life Issues. Sponsored by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Sharp Healthcare San Diego Senior Care – Sharp offers senior care programs and services, including behavioral health, senior health centers, Senior Resource Centers, and volunteer opportunities. Website includes information on upcoming classes and programs.

General Resources

AARP – Information for persons over the age of 50, including health, Medicare, family caregiving, retirement, community service, legislation affecting seniors, and how to avoid fraud and scams. Información en Español.

Abledata – A federally-funded project whose primary mission is to provide information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment. Products are listed by their intended function, including aids for daily living, low vision, hard of hearing, personal care, therapeutic aids, wheeled mobility, and more.

Caregiver Resources – Please view the Herrick Library section on Caregiver Resources on our Find Health Services page.

Center for Aging and Population Health – This University of Pittsburgh Center conducts research that promotes healthy aging, longevity, and prevention of disability. Provides information and recommendations on 10 keys to healthy aging.

Go4Life – An exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health. Offers exercises, motivational tips, and free resources, including an exercise guide in English and Spanish, exercise videos, and an interactive website.

HealthinAging.org – Website created by the American Geriatrics Society’s Health In Aging Foundation to provide consumers and caregivers with up-to-date information. Includes Aging & Health A to Z, which features information on common diseases and disorders that affect older adults. Also has sections on finding a geriatrics healthcare professional, medications and older adults, making your wishes known, and home & community.

Medicare – The official U.S. government site for Medicare provides comprehensive information including Medicare basics, health and drug plans, as well as search tools for doctors, hospitals, supplies, and nursing homes under Forms, Help and Resources. Información en Español.

Social Security – U.S. Social Security Administration provides information about your Social Security number and card, retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, online claims & services, and news. Seguro Social en Español and 17 other languages.

Advance Health Care Directives

CaringInfo – A program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, CaringInfo provides free resources and information to help people make decisions about end-of-life care and services, including advance care planning, caregiving, hospice & palliative care, and grief & loss. Free state-specific advance health care directive for California here. Also offers a helpline at 1-800-658-8898. Información en Español.

Consumer’s Toolkit for Health Care Advance Planning – The American Bar Association provides this free toolkit to help you in the process of deciding on your values, priorities, and what is important to you in the face of serious illness.

End of Life Care Planning – State of California Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General provides information, checklists, forms, and links to resources on hospice and palliative care, pain management, and advance health care directives.

Five Wishes Advance Directive – A program of Aging with Dignity, Fives Wishes provides a means to legally document your choices for medical treatment, comfort choices, and care wishes. Advance Care Directive available online or in print for a small fee. California specific Fives Wishes form here. Also available in 27 other languages and Braille.

Healthcare Directives and Power of Attorney Nolo Press provides free legal articles on health care directives, conservatorships, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and more. Other products and services are available for purchase.

PREPARE for Your Care – Provides easy-to-read advance directive information and forms to help make decision-making easier. Also includes videos. Información en Español.

End-of-Life Care Options

California End of Life Option Act This California law, which went in effect in June 2016, allows terminally ill adult patients with capacity to make medical decisions to be prescribed an aid-in-dying medication if certain conditions are met. California is the fifth state to enact an aid-in-dying law. The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California has information here concerning this law. The California Hospital Association has detailed information about the End of Life Option Act, including forms here. The law is being contested through the courts, but it remains in effect as of mid-2018.

Hospice and Palliative Care are important parts of end-of-life treatment. Information on how treatment works and what a patient’s options are can be found at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the National Institute on Aging. For a list of questions to ask when selecting a hospice organization, click here.

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a medical order that gives seriously-ill patients more control over their end-of-life care, including medical treatment, extraordinary measures (such as a ventilator or feeding tube), and CPR. Usually printed on bright pink paper and signed by both a patient and physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, POLST can prevent unwanted or ineffective treatments, reduce patient and family suffering, and ensure that a patient’s wishes are honored. The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California is the primary coordinator of this initiative in California. The form may be downloaded in 13 languages here: The POLST form complements but does not replace an advance health care directive.