Creative Aging Directory - Elders Learning Community

Program Title
Elders Learning Community
Program Summary

Elders Learning Community (ELC) is in its 9th year of serving older adults (over 60) who are low-income, frail, or homebound in West Contra Costa County, California. They are often the elders who can't make it to the average senior center due to financial or health barriers. We use a humanistic model for learning that is based on participants' unique interests and capabilities. Our program connects trained volunteers from the community with senior participants to become Learning Partners. Together, they develop creative learning projects of mutual interest. In recent years these have included art, music, science, computers, history, memoir writing, and photography. We also host monthly groups where interested participants gather to work on art projects and delve into local history. Senior participants, ELC staff, and our dedicated volunteers are what make up our "community of learners." ELC serves approximately 20 older adults in the Learning Community each year.

Program Background and History

Founded in 2005 by local community and human rights advocate Amy Rock, the Elders Learning Community (ELC) seeks to address the effects of disengagement impacting the lives of so many West County Seniors. The Learning Community engages eligible older adults through learning partnerships with volunteers and groups in the community. ELC also provides free case management to approximately 40 seniors a year in the areas of transportation, food assistance, and medical referrals to eligible older adults. Some elders participate both aspects of our programming (case management and Learning Community). Many of the Learning Community participants stay with the program for years. Lifelong Medical is the fiscal sponsor for ELC.

Program-Specific Research and Key Findings
Program-Specific Assessment and Evaluation
Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs
City (Main)
State (Main)
Phone-Phone (Main)
Facebook Link
Twitter Link
Arts Discipline
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus
Creation of Original Work, Exhibiting Artwork, Participate in a Class
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus Other
Interdisciplinary Connections
Creative engagement
Target Audience
Frail Older Adults
Adaptive Program Design
Hearing Disabilities, Visual Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities
Adaptive Program Design Other
Program Setting
Arts Organization, House of Worship / Religious Center
Program Service Area / Geography
Program Service Area / Geography Other