Meet Ofelia Salas de Camacho, Fruitvale Senior

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Ofelia is originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco. In her words, she moved to Oakland “way before her hair was all white”. Ofelia loves dancing and does not let her broken arm get in the way of moving to the rhythm of cumbias.

Ofelia joined the Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center ten years ago. She was referred to the center by her doctor after she was diagnosed with depression, “I live alone,” she says, “and being at home all day just watching TV and looking at the wall was affecting me, I was getting desperate.”

As she talked about her struggle with depression she said, “Youth is short, old age is long. I never thought I would live this long and I was not ready to age.”

But if you were to talk to Ofelia in person, you would never guess she struggled with depression. She is a loving woman with a great sense of humor; she constantly makes her fellow seniors laugh with her jokes and always has a smile on her face.

Ofelia says that what affected her the most was not having a routine. Like many seniors, not being active and having little social interaction was affecting her physical and mental health.

Today, she has an extensive routine where she participates on all kinds of activities at the Senior Center, she says, “I like coming to the center. I am here every day from 8 am to 3 pm. I laugh and talk to everyone; I am part of the dancing group. I am always missing the center when they are closed.”

Ofelia often invites other seniors to join the Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center. She says she appreciates how all staff is bi-lingual and fully committed to their work. Ofelia looks forward to getting her cast removed so that she can dance freely at the dancing classes and at the next holiday event at the center.