Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs


Loneliness. It’s a feeling all humans have experienced at one time or another.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently about this feeling, and how destructive it can be on our health if left unchecked. According to former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and others, loneliness has been estimated to shorten a person’s life by 15 years, equivalent in impact to being obese or smoking 15 cigarettes per day. 

Pasadena's Quiet Crisis

Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs

Akila 2019An historic shift is taking place in our country, and Pasadena has landed in the middle of it. Our community, like so many others, is facing dramatic growth in its older population as members of the baby-boom generation turn 65 in unprecedented numbers.

This year, our retiree population will grow faster than the population of young people. And next year will see the same, and the year after that.

In fact, the historic makeup of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley insures we will see a demographic shift that is more dramatic than in many urban areas.

And we are not ready.

A few months ago, I did something I never thought I’d do

Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by AKila Gibbs, May 2018

LaurenA few months ago, I did something I never thought I’d do: I boarded a plane for South Korea to watch my daughter, Lauren, win a silver medal in the bobsled competition of the Winter Olympics.

Every single word in that sentence is surprising and amazing to me, so I will go in order:

1. I’m scared of flying, and boarding a plane for that long was never going to be something I chose to do. But, when your youngest child is competing in THE OLYMPICS, you go. I did a lot of deep breathing. The experience of flying for close to 14 hours wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.


Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs January 2018

Cover Photo CROPPED 2The New Year begins and I find myself thinking about how lucky our Center is to have strong community support. Whether in our growing membership and volunteer rosters or in reaching ambitious fundraising goals, our neighborhood responds in a big way.

The Center recently held its annual “Zest” gala, which raises money for the Center to continue and expand its service offerings. Non-profit organizations, like the Center, operate differently than a business in that any surplus revenue is put back into our budget rather than distributing it as income to shareholders.

What this means is that donors, whether they give $3 or $1,000, can rest assured that the money they give to the Center directly translates into supporting the programs that bring more than 10,000 seniors annually through our doors.

Second Act

Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs, October 2017

accountantsecond act n. Something people devote their lives to later in life, after retiring or quitting their original occupation.

The thing about second acts is, you may not see them coming,

I am not much of a gambler

Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs, August 2017

joyI’m not much of a gambler, but I like the saying about making the most of the hand you’re dealt in life. The truth is, there are no guarantees, and no promises of a tomorrow. We all need to make the most of today. Whether we have been dealing with a debilitating illness for many years, or we get sudden bad news, we need strength for this life.

I was reminded of this recently,

From Aerospace Engineering to "Al the Music Man"

Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs, May 2017

chessIf you regularly come to the Center on Thursdays, you will know what I’m talking about. You might be rushing to play “loteria” with the Latino Club or eager to win a hand at the soon-to-be starting pinochle card game. You might be itching to try your “feet” at the open line dancing class. Then you hear it: keyboard music coming from the lobby area. With a Latin flair, the music would sometimes stay with you all day. People would be gathered around the keyboard player, some of them singing along, some dancing. There would be laughter, and you’d find yourself walking in rhythm with the music.

Al, “the Music Man,” had been a piano man when he was younger, and kept it up while working his regular day jobs in aerospace engineering at Cal Tech and JPL. But sometime after he retired from his job, he heard someone playing the keyboard, got a book, and taught himself. Like all good musicians, his next move was to line up a steady gig, with an appreciative audience. That’s where the Center and our members came in.

“I just loved the diversity,” Al told me.

My Challenge to You

Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs, January 2017

26 x 22“If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
--Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz

I’ve always loved this movie, and this is one of my favorite lines. The beginning of a new year makes me stop to assess my life and reflect on where I want to be in 12 months,

Here when you need it

Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs, November 2016

Byrone SalmoaByron, at 104 years old, came to the Senior Center for his daily fix—working on a puzzle. Six days a week, he arrived at his usual spot. At the beginning, he worked on his puzzle alone, with Center members sometimes stopping to say hello and chat about this or that. In the last few years Marilyn, another Senior Center member, joined him and she would work on his puzzle too. The two of them would sit together, heads bowed over the puzzle table, stopping only at lunchtime for a bite to eat. After lunch, he’d go home. Byron recently passed away,

Looking forward to 65

Posted in Messages from Akila

Written by Akila Gibbs, July 2016

dorothy shoesIt’s official. I turn 65 years old next month.

Reaching this milestone means I am an “Older American.” It can’t be denied: I will soon join the ranks of seniors across the nation, and become a card-carrying member of the Medicare-eligible.

I welcome this birthday enthusiastically, and I'll tell you why:

Where is PSC?


Need directions to get to the Center? Here's transportation and parking information.

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Contact Us

Phone: (626) 795-4331
Fax: (626) 577-4235
Lunch Reservations: (626) 685-6751
Email: info@pasadenaseniorcenter.org

Pasadena Senior Center
85 East Holly Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
Nonprofit I.D. #95-2085393