Starting point: In San Francisco’s Chinese community, with a cultural tradition of respect for elders, recognition of isolation and growing institutionalization of elderly

Organizing strategy: Organizing to keep the aging in their homes and neighborhoods

Tools: A non-profit organization to provide services

Outcomes: Not only local and ethnic success, but leadership in a national movement towards deinstitutionalization

Primary Resources:

Mission Statement

To maintain and develop health care models for the well-being of the elderly and chronically ill through education, advocacy, innovation in services and financing.

Dedicated to The Care of Elders

On Lok, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization founded in the early 1970s by a group of citizens concerned about the plight of elders and the lack of long term options in the community.  On Lok, Inc. serves as the administrative arm of a group of five affiliated non-profit organizations. Its functions include research and development, human resources, fundraising and management information systems.

Now, several decades later, On Lok, Inc. serves seniors in the community through:

  • On Lok Lifeways – a comprehensive health plan that provides long-term care for eligible seniors living in San Francisco, Fremont, Newark, Union City or Santa Clara County (not including Gilroy, Morgan Hill or San Martin). The program offers full medical care and support services with the goal of helping seniors live at home and in the community for as long as possible.  For more information about On Lok Lifeways, click here.
  • 30th Street Senior Center – the largest multi-purpose senior center in San Francisco offering a broad range of programs including a senior center, nutrition and congregate meals, home delivered meals and bilingual case management.  To learn more about these services, click here.
  • On Lok Intergenerational Program – a program that brings together On Lok Lifeways members and children from neighboring childcare centers and elementary schools.  To learn more about this program, click here.
  • Housing – three buildings with various types of residential units for older adults.  To learn more about On Lok Housing, click here.



Why PACE was created

Seniors, their family members and other caregivers face many issues, including transportation to appointments, managing medications, coordinating medical care from different specialists, lack of social interaction and staying alone at home. PACE (Program ofAll-inclusive Care for the Elderly) was developed to answer the many problems around caring for frail seniors.

PACE allows seniors to remain living in their homes

The PACE model is centered on the belief that it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in their community whenever possible. PACE participants receive personal care in their homes and transportation to a PACE facility for primary medical care, social and recreational activities and other adult day care services.

Many seniors are eligible for PACE

The PACE model serves seniors who are 55 years of age or older, certified by their state to need nursing home care, able to live safely in the community at the time of enrollment, and live in a PACE service area. All PACE participants must be certified to need skilled nursing facility care to enroll in PACE.

Receive PACE services from the originator of PACE

The PACE care model was developed in San Francisco by On Lok Lifeways. Read more about our history here. For more information about the PACE care model

PACE is recognized as a Medicare and Medicaid program

Find out more about PACE on the official US government site for Medicare

Contact us to find out if On Lok Lifeways PACE is right for you.

On Lok Lifeways’ innovative plan of comprehensive care is a remarkable model for successful alternatives to life in a nursing home.

Learn more about our nationally recognized program from our latest press releases and media coverage.

Making news supporting and advocating for the elderly is what On Lok, Inc. has been doing for forty years. See the most recent stories about our work below.  And, if you wish to speak with us about any of these stories, we encourage you to email us at