SAN LEANDRO (CBS 5) — You may remember the plight of Ida Cotton. CBS 5 profiled the 85-year-old in September after she graduated from Cal State East Bay, but had nowhere to go after leaving the dorm. That’s when Delane Sims stepped in.
“We went out, we literally helped her move,” Delane explains. “We moved her into (a new) place, we provided the bed for her, we got her utilities started.”
Delane started a volunteer organization called Senior Moments. In Ida’s case, she partnered with a local Lions Club to help move Ida to a new low income apartment. And she continues to check in, to make sure Ida gets the services she needs.
“I will always remember her as long as I live,” Ida says emphatically. “She helped me when I needed help, and when I didn’t need help, she was still there for giving advice.”
Delane first got the idea to help San Leandro seniors through her nail care business. She started by bringing free footcare to homebound seniors, but was soon inspired to do more.
“We have actually found seniors who are eating cat food!” Delane says, shaking her head. “It just broke my heart. I have to do something about this.”
So five years ago she started Senior Moments, not only to help homebound or disabled seniors, but also to make sure care-givers get the resources they need. She collaborates with other organizations to cut through red tape.
Delane says, ‘We have someone who maybe a plumber, me, I am a foot carer, we will have someone who’s in social services, we will have people from all different areas coming together to work on this particular issue our seniors have.”
She’s even gone back to school. to get a masters in public health.
Her service for seniors began with her own family, but Delane says her inspiration continues to be her father, who turns 112 this month.
“My father worked three jobs in order primarily to take care of me,” Delane says. “He’s just the best dad in the world.”
And he still can make her laugh.
“I want to pass that on to others to say, ‘Look at our seniors in a new way, look at them to be vital and to be cherished to be applauded and respected, not to be written off.'”
So for helping seniors in San Leandro get the help and support they need and deserve this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Delane Sims.
To volunteer serives for seniors, or to connect a senior in need: http://rememberseniormoments.com/
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