Senior Citizen, Disabled Services Go High-Tech

July 7, 2005
San Francisco Examiner

BURLINGAME, Calif. – Seniors and the disabled in San Mateo County will soon have a new Web site to help them find services ranging from health care and transportation to home repair work.

The site, which can be found on the Internet at http://sanmateo.networkofcare.org/aging, will be accessible to the public starting July 11.

"Getting information to residents in the community can sometimes be difficult because they don't know what resources to seek out until they are in a crisis situation that triggers the search," said Lori Sweeney, Aging and Adult Services program manager for San Mateo County.

While acknowledging that use of the Internet by today's seniors and the disabled isn't widespread, Sweeney said that by launching the Web site, the county is introducing the region's aging baby boomer generation to tools they can use in the future.

The site is the result of a year's research by a subcommittee of the Commission on Aging into how best to teach the public about the dozens of senior and disabled programs offered in the county, officials said. The site cost $32,000 to develop so far and will need $3,200 a year for upkeep, according to Sweeney.

"This is a wonderful new opportunity for seniors and people with disabilities, or their care providers, to access information at their convenience," said San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier in a prepared statement.

Among the topics that will be covered by the Web site are adult day-care providers, caregivers' facilities and support, transportation options, area senior centers, legal services and senior employment and volunteer work. In addition, users will be able to find local nonprofits that help with home repairs, such as building wheelchair ramps, adding handrails to showers and installing stairs.

The site will offer information in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian and Japanese.

The official unveiling of the site will take place July 11 at 9 a.m. during the Commission on Aging meeting in San Mateo at 225 37th Ave., Room 100.

E-mail: ecarpenter@examiner.com