Very little is known on the unmet needs of older adults living in high-crime neighborhoods in the Bay Area of San Francisco. It is important to increase the knowledge of this vulnerable population as their ability to cope in such areas and their probability of becoming a victim of neighborhood conflict are an increasing issue for our aging population. For those reasons the Mack Center in Mental Health and Social Conflict started an investigation on older adults living in areas with high crime in the Bay Area with Elena Portacolone and Steven P. Segal as investigators. The aim of this project is to increase the awareness of the needs and preferences of this vulnerable population, as well as their utilization of services and social networks.
Elena Portacolone is associate specialist at the Mack Center on Mental Health and Social Conflict and assistant professor at the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF). An affiliate of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues at UC Berkeley (UCB), Portacolone has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the Bay Area of San Francisco on adults living alone, the Gray Panthers, and deinstitutionalization. She holds a BA in Political Sciences from Turin University (Italy), Masters in Business Administration and Public Health from UCB, and a PhD in Sociology from UCSF.