Support Ralston Center

View our Annual Report 2019

Nearly 200 years ago, Sarah Ralston collected support from more than 400 prominent Philadelphia women – the wives of the booming city’s merchants, businessmen, farmers, and government officials – and organized a society to house and care for the city’s indigent widows and other single women.

Ever since, Ralston Center has been a pioneering advocate for the health and quality of life of older Philadelphians. Today, older adults want to “age in place,” remaining in their homes and communities and maintaining lifelong relationships with nearby family and friends.

Our programs have evolved over the last 20 years to support this change in outlook. Ralston Wellness offers classes to increase the flexibility and strength of seniors and support the performance of their everyday activities. Ralston My Way has become “the neighbor who takes care of everything” for thousands of older adults in Northwest Philadelphia, allowing them to stay in the homes and communities they love. Subsidized residences at Joseph J. Hill Ralston Mercy-Douglass House enable seniors with low incomes to live independently.

Ralston Center’s programs and services produce critical outcomes that directly benefit more than 5,000 older adults in Philadelphia and indirectly benefit families of older adults and the city at large. Ralston’s work makes an impact on our communities in the following ways:

  • Improve Seniors’ Physical Health: Fitness programs sustain good health, while home care services mitigate injuries from slips and falls in poorly maintained homes. These prevent or control chronic diseases and result in lower public and personal costs.
  • Overcome Social Isolation: Group fitness classes provide older adults with opportunities for socializing; low-income housing and home care services give older adults ways to connect with other residents and with caregivers;
  • Improve Seniors’ Mental Health: Our programs and services help offset depression and improve mental acuity, contributing to overall health and lowering health care expenditures;
  • Support Independent Living/Avoid Institutionalization: Older adults in their 60s, 70s and even into their 80s report that they want to live independently in their homes for at least 10 more years. Activities that support physical and mental health, as well as home care services that cover essential chores and errands, make independent living possible.
  • Strengthen Communities: By fostering independent living and better quality of life, our programs enable older adults to contribute to the social, political and environmental makeup of their neighborhoods.

Older Philadelphians are growing in numbers, as well as in the depth of their need. Please heed Sarah Ralston’s call across generations and become a Champion of Healthy Aging by making a tax-deductible gift to Ralston Center.