With an award from the St. Louis City Senior Fund, Bilingual International Assistant Services will be expanding its senior center in 2019 to support an additional 40 foreign-born senior residents of St. Louis City.
Since opening over 6 years ago, Macklind International Senior Center has worked to establish peer communities and combat social isolation experienced by foreign-born seniors. As the first designated senior center of its kind in Missouri, we bring together rotating groups of foreign-born seniors (currently Chinese, Bosnian, Bhutanese Nepali, Albanian, and Vietnamese) for community, celebrations, fresh-cooked nutritious meals, health education, social supports, and care coordination. Services are provided by multilingual social services professionals.
The St. Louis City Senior Fund, by providing funding to organizations that support residents over the age of 60, ensures that St. Louis is an aging-friendly city where seniors can age in place.
With the Fund’s assistance, Macklind International Senior Center will support 40 additional seniors and add new language-specific senior groups. We will also implement enhanced culturally competent programming for our seniors that target and prevent social isolation.
These programs will not only increase the support seniors receive within their groups, but also encourage groups to share different cultural traditions and celebrations with other groups. In addition to shared cultural experiences, this expansion will provide structured interactions for our senior groups designed to increase their familiarity and identification with their new hometown.
Bilingual International Assistant Services looks forward to increasing the impact of the senior center in the lives of the seniors we serve. We are incredibly grateful to the St. Louis City Senior Fund for entrusting us with the responsibility of combating social isolation in foreign-born senior communities. We look forward to helping these seniors acclimate to their surroundings and making St. Louis a more comfortable and inclusive city where diverse seniors age in place.