Frequently Asked Questions

1) Are your services only for Japanese-speaking/Japanese-American seniors?

Kimochi has its roots in San Francisco’s Japantown and our philosophy of care is grounded in the Japanese tradition of respect and appreciation for our elders. While our focus is on Japanese-speaking and Japanese American seniors, our programs and services are open to all Bay Area seniors, their families and caregivers. Many of our programs are multi-lingual.

2) Do I have to be a senior to receive help?

Kimochi programs and services are generally designed for those 60 years or older (eligibility requirements can vary by program or service). However, we are here to assist all family members and caregivers as they address the changes that aging brings.

3) Do you only help people who live in San Francisco?

Depending on the inquiry, Kimochi can provide direct help or provide referrals for help in your area.

Some of our programs (home delivered meals, transportation) do have a geographic focus. Please contact Kimochi directly for more details: (415) 931-2294 or

4) Do I have to be low income to receive help?

Kimochi tries to assist everyone but certain programs prioritize service for low income seniors.

5) Do you charge for your services?

Our programs and services are either fee-based or on a voluntary contribution. Fee information and eligibility requirements are noted on our website program pages.

6) How can I get a home delivered meal?

In San Francisco, Kimochi is now a part of a city-wide, city-managed home-delivered meals program. To receive a home-delivered meal, you will need to fill out an assessment form to determine your eligibility for the program. You must have a referral to participate in this program. If you require language support in filling out the assessment form, a Kimochi social worker can be of assistance.

For more information on City and County of San Francisco’s Home Delivered Meals Program, go to or call (415) 355-6700.

In San Mateo, Kimochi is currently providing home-delivered meals to a limited geographic area in the northern part of the county.  Kimochi does not currently receive public funding for our home-delivered meals program in San Mateo and depends on fundraising and voluntary contributions to provide this much needed service to clients.

For more information on Nutrition Services of Kimochi San Mateo, please contact Terue Shinohara, the San Mateo Care and Wellness Manager at (650)388-7130 or

7) How can I find a caregiver to help me at home?

Kimochi is not a home care agency, but we are a resource in the search for caregiver support through our Nagaiki Program (formerly Home Care Registry). The Nagaiki Program includes a list of caregivers along with resources to help seniors and their families in the search and hiring process.

Our Nagaiki List is updated regularly to provide information on each caregiver registered with us, including contact information so families can connect with caregivers directly and schedule interviews for possible employment. We do not bond or insure the caregivers who are listed in our current registry and Kimochi is not involved in the hiring process; the family/caregiver is the employer and makes decisions on schedule, work responsibilities and compensation.

Additional caregiver resource information can be found at

8) Does Kimochi provide nursing home care?

Kimochi Home and Kimochi San Mateo are Assisted Living Facilities (24-hour non-medical, supervised care). Our homes are not Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs provide 24-hour medical care). Kimochi Home, based in San Francisco’s Japantown, accepts ambulatory seniors only; Kimochi San Mateo accepts both ambulatory and non-ambulatory.

9) What is the difference between Medicare and Medi-Cal?

Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage if you are 65 and older or have a severe disability, no matter your income. Medi-Cal (Medicaid), on the other hand, is a federal program administered by the State of California that pays for certain health services and nursing home care for older people with low incomes and limited assets. Its greatest difference from Medicare is that Medi-Cal is based on need and financial resources. In order to qualify, a person must fall into a covered group and meet the financial needs test. Some may be dual-eligible (both Medicare and Medi-Cal).

To better understand the programs and their distinctions, go to:

10) Is there a difference between Social Security Income and SSI?

There is often confusion about Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because you apply for both programs with the Social Security Administration. But, the programs are different.

The Social Security benefit programs are entitlement programs. This means that workers, employers and the self-employed pay for the benefits with their Social Security taxes which are collected and put into special trust funds. You qualify for these benefits based on your work history (or your spouse or parent). The amount of the benefit is based on these earnings.

SSI is a needs-based program for people with limited income and resources (resources are assets or things that you own). The benefit amount is based on federal and state laws which take into account where you live, who lives with you and what income you receive.

For more information, please visit

11) Other helpful resources:


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