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PEARLS: New program helps seniors build skills for self-sufficiency in Santa Barbara County

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Local seniors have a new resource to help them retain their independence, increase social interaction, and improve quality of life.

Family Service Agency (FSA) just launched the innovative Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS).

"This is a great program because it reaches far and wide for anybody over 60 that’s experiencing any kind of down blues, sadness, isolation, loneliness," said senior services program director De Rosenberry of Family Service Agency.

Operated by family service agency, PEARLS focuses on helping participants across Santa Barbara county, increase successful problem-solving, enabling them to approach life's difficulties with greater confidence and effectiveness. 

"It’s not a clinical program it’s based on your feelings of how you navigate the world or maybe how you’re not navigating the world," said Rosenberry.

"Within the sessions, our clients work without pearls coaches to make lists of their problems that they’re facing, and then they break those problems down into steps," said marriage and family therapist Megan Young of Family Service Agency.

Right now Family Service Agency is accepting  seniors interested in the pearls program county wide. 

"We can go to anyone we can go to the home we can meet people in the community or they can come to our office," said Young.

PEARLS is free to Santa Barbara County residents 60 and older which includes the Santa Maria Valley Youth & Family Center, and the Little House by the Park.

"My hope for this program is to engage as many seniors as possible as many that want to help to provide that help for them," said Rosenberry.

"Seniors learn skills and tools that they can use to feel empowered and really take charge of their own life," said Young.

PEARLS offers personalized support, allowing participants to work with trained professional coaches who tailor their guidance to the senior's unique needs and circumstances.

Conversations take place in an older adult’s home or a community-based setting that is more accessible and comfortable for the senior.

PEARLS also allows for coordination with their current health care providers where appropriate.

“Through one-by-one coaching, we help seniors address challenges they are experiencing. They make a
problem list and we help them find solutions. That could be finding ways to increase social activity or
connecting them to a community resource to help them access food,” said Young.

Funding is provided through a grant from the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability
Commission (MHSOAC).

To learn more, visit

Santa Barbara residents can call 805-965-1001 x 1408.

Lompoc and Santa Maria seniors can call 805-735-4376 x 3801.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Santa Barbara

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Patricia Martellotti

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