On Lok Lifeways, a comprehensive health care plan for seniors, helps seniors stay right where they want to be-aging in their own homes and as active as they are able to be, just like 88-year-old Santa Clara resident Edwina Lois Flynn.
Flynn's home is a studio apartment in a Santa Clara retirement center, where she lives independently with home assistance. She receives daily morning and evening visits from an On Lok caregiver to assist with her medications. During longer, twice weekly visits, caregivers do household chores and laundry and help her shower. She has dinner in the dining room with friends she socializes with, sometimes playing cards.
Three days a week, a bus picks up Flynn and takes her to the On Lok Lifeways adult day health center, 2999 Stockton Ave., San Jose, where she feels pampered from morning through mid-afternoon with social activities, personal services that include medical checks and counseling and attention from a staff that knows her history and calls her by name.
“All the people here are so helpful. They are loving. They've been trained, and they're here to do anything they can to make us feel good,” says Flynn, an On Lok Lifeways client since 2012.
Flynn, who sang in a band many years ago, enjoys karaoke and games like bingo. On Mondays, she attends a painting class.
“Lois has a good eye for drawing,” says teacher Virginia Jourdan with Art with Elders (www.artwithelders.org). “Painting in a social gathering relaxes the elders and takes their minds off any kind of worries they have. It builds their confidence.”
“Physical therapists show us machines and exercises to maintain mobility and strength,” says Flynn, who uses a walker.
“My mom has so improved since coming to On Lok. It is great to have all of her medical all in one place and I know she is well taken care of. All of the staff at On Lok is caring and there for her every need,” writes Flynn's daughter Paula Flynn in an email.
“The services that On Lok provides allow me to have peace of mind and to be able to have more of a life of my own. My mom has friends where she lives and loves the staff at On Lok,” continues Paula, who has two out-of-state siblings.
On Lok activity therapist Kim Pham points out that On Lok Lifeways is unique in that it is an all-inclusive center that provides complete medical services for seniors who need ongoing medical care. At its San Jose hub, care is provided by doctors, therapists, counselors, a dentist and a podiatrist.
“Our care is very personalized, individualized. We really get to know our clients and what help they need,” says Pham, whose grandfather attends a different On Lok day center.
“I like to tell people about On Lok. I'm so pleased I was able to come here and have all these good things. I'm happier here than staying at home all the time,” says Flynn.
On Lok Lifeways, a not-for-profit organization with care centers in San Jose, San Francisco and East Bay, is for those 55 or older who are state certified to need a level of care equal to nursing home service yet are still able to live safely in the community. It accepts Medicare and Medi-Cal. For information, call 1-888-886-6565 or visit www.onlok.org.
“You have to accept the fact that you're 88 years old and how much you can do and how much you can't do … I do as much as I can, but I'm at the point where I have to let someone do some things for me,” says Flynn.