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Bringing smiles to seniors one visit at a time.
Our History
    • Sydney And Sylvia
    • Sydney and Sylvia Cooper are the grandparents of Senior Smiles founder Jill Pizitz-Hochstein. Our organization was formed and named in honor of them.


Sydney Cooper Senior Smiles was founded by Jill-Pizitz Hochstein in 2001 as a means of helping senior citizens retain an active, happy life and to break inter-generational boundaries by forming bonds between the young and the elderly.

Named after Pizitz-Hochstein’s late grandfather, Senior Smiles initially came into fruition when the founder was unable to visit her own grandmother, Sylvia Cooper, in northern California. Sylvia faced common symptoms that many seniors experience while living in a senior care facility: loneliness, depression, and seclusion. Unable to visit her grandmother regularly, Pizitz-Hochstein wanted to recruit volunteers to offer their companionship while she was away. It was then that she realized that there was a low percentage of young people who understood or were educated in age-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's. The love for her grandmother, coupled with the need to find well-trained volunteers to offer camaraderie to the elderly, inspired Pizitz-Hochstein to initiate a program where she could educate local students about the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's. Most importantly, however, volunteers were trained to acquire the skills necessary to interact and offer companionship to the elderly.

Today, Sydney Cooper Senior Smiles is a recognized nonprofit organization and has expanded to serve hundreds of seniors and volunteers throughout California. Senior Smiles remains one of the few organizations dedicated to serving senior citizens and educating others about caring for the elderly.