Senior programs abound in Claremont

Jennifer Hele, Claremont Senior Program supervisor, called the Joslyn Center’s daily hot lunch an essential service. “A lot of the adults that come in here really rely on that as their one hot meal that they get a day,” she said. “Food insecurity is something that we do aim to address here but a lot of the people that come here, they do it just for the socialization.” Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

by Andrew Alonzo |

Claremont plays host to a number of opportunities for older adults, often facilitated by Claremont Senior Program, AgingNext or Service Center for Independent Life.

Claremont Senior Program
When the Joslyn Center, at 660 N. Mountain Ave., Claremont, opened in early 1985, Claremont Senior Program came along with it to offer free and public programs and services. Additional offerings came later with the opening of the Blaisdell Community Center.

Exercise programs such as various walking, biking or running groups around the city are part of what the Senior Program offers. Others include social game sessions such as bridge and mahjong, daily hot lunch service, bi-weekly movie matinees, specialty activities such as scam stopper seminars and AARP tax services, and help with technology.

A list of classes is at and in hard copy form within the city’s recreation and human services summer brochure.

“It’s a whole roster of recreation and support services for older adults in a nutshell,” said Jennifer Hele, Claremont Senior Program supervisor.

Additionally, the Joslyn Center serves as an Inland Valley Hope Partner food security site on Tuesdays and the monthly food distribution hub for Los Angeles County seniors on the second Thursday of the month. Both programs are overseen by CSP in partnership, respectively, with IVHP and Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.


(L-R) Claremont Senior Program volunteer Chloe Klein and Joslyn Center staff members Chandra Howden and Anna Madrigal serve lunch on Monday. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo


Joslyn also has a dedicated onsite case manager who can connect Claremont seniors with social services. Eric Ey, the city’s human services manager, mentioned various partnerships with AgingNext, Tierra del Sol Foundation, Get About, Tri-City Mental Health Services, among others, that also provide assistance.

The roster of activities changes from year to year. “People are just very interested in very different things, and people are needing very different things,” Hele said. “Who a senior was 10 years ago and what they wanted then is not necessarily what they want now.”

The CSP mission statement, at, reads, “To advocate for individuals ages 55+ and facilitate their access to a full range of programs, activities, and services that enrich their lives, and to actively promote a just and equitable intercultural society that fosters positive human relations.”

“We’re a one-stop shop, for the most part,” said Ey. “By providing a community for them to participate in activities to the extent that they feel comfortable…really helps us meet their individual needs so that they can have a positive, wellful life.”


Claremont Senior Program volunteer Vikram Chatterjee wheels out plates of chicken, rice and sweet potatoes for hungry seniors at the Joslyn Center on Monday while fellow volunteer Elizabeth Nola checks the coffee station. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo


Those looking to volunteer or learn more about CSP can visit, hover over the government tab, click “Human Services Department,” then click “senior services,” on the following page. You can also call CSP at (909) 399-5488.


The Claremont-based nonprofit organization AgingNext started in 1975 as a volunteer driving program, but has since evolved to help older adults plan for life’s latter stages.

The mission of AgingNext is to “support and educate older adults and their families to maintain independence and to live well at home and in the community,” said executive director Abigail Pascua, a lifelong senior advocate who has dedicated 23 years to the organization.

Programs include caregiver support groups, AgingNext Village sessions for adults over 60, transportation services via Get About, a senior companion program, the memory care center and subsequent respite care, and informational and referral services. AgingNext and the City of Claremont also provide case management services at the Joslyn Center for residents who need home visits and other resources. Most offerings are available to adults over age 55, but younger people with disabilities can also attend sessions with certain exceptions. Learn more by calling (909) 621-9900.

There is no age requirement for referral services. Residents of Claremont, Pomona, La Verne, San Dimas, Covina, West Covina, Diamond Bar, Walnut, Azusa, Glendora, Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair, Ontario, Upland, and Rancho Cucamonga are encouraged to explore AgingNext’s menu of resources.

“We want you to learn more about it first that way you are equipped. It’s like putting together a tool box,” Pascua said. “You put together all the … tools that you think you’re going to need in the future somewhere, somehow, and you put them there to make you feel equipped and ready.

“You’ll never know what disaster or emergency or family emergency is going to happen, but knowing that that’s in place or knowing where to go, who to call is the most important part of it all,” she added.

Pascua said if AgingNext does not offer a specific resource it will put folks in contact with an entity that does. To volunteer or learn more, email, go to, or visit its offices at 141 Spring St., Claremont.


Service Center for Independent Life
Service Center for Independent Life, another Claremont-based nonprofit and one of 28 certified independent living centers in the state, is dedicated to ensuring seniors and older adults with disabilities have what they need.

The nonprofit’s mission is to “empower all persons with any disability in their quest for greater personal independence and to advocate for a barrier free society,” said longtime executive director Larry Grable.

“Our major goal is to help people live and age in a community setting of their choice,” Grable said. He got involved with aiding the disabled community following the death of his daughter several years ago. “I’ve been here now over 10 years. This was a passion of mine.”


Food pantry coordinator Anthony Martinez sorts a donation last week at Service Center for Independent Life. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo


The organization was founded 1980. It offers a range of classes such as weekly social hours, independent living skills sessions, yoga, emergency preparedness procedures, a women’s autism support group, deaf services, housing and transitional resources, an accessible internet program via the Digital Access Project, and much more. Visit to view the full list.

SCIL also parlays its partnerships with LA Food Bank, Feeding America, Costco Montclair, Flowers Bakery, God’s Pantry, Veteran Place, and Rolling Start to offer a weekly food pantry. The service began during the pandemic and as long as one is registered, even unhoused persons can walk up to SCIL, at 107 S. Spring St., Claremont, to receive a bag of groceries from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Friday. The nonprofit’s volunteer drivers also make weekly deliveries of hundreds of bags of food to needy clients in Claremont and the surrounding communities.

Grable knows the SCIL mission is important to the fabric of Claremont, which is home to a wide array of older adults.

“We help people stay in their own homes. We keep people fed,” said Grable. “Just making that little difference in that person’s life is huge. That’s why every one of us is here.”

Inquiries about services or volunteering with SCIL can be made by calling (909) 621-6722 or at Walk-ins are also welcome.


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