By Jayesh Bagde
Senior Centers are performing a growing role in helping older Americans to realize greater independence by offering access to the Aging Network and other services. Information gathered from these centers on their effectiveness is extremely important.
Senior Centers are places where senior citizens can come together to help build community awareness of their needs and interests. These centers are best sites for community based health promotion activities as well as a convenient place to make and meet new friends and strengthen social networks.
There are more than 6,000 Senior Centers that receive some funding support from the Older Americans Act through service contracts from programs activities that were awarded by State and Area Agencies. These centers are vital in the aging network because they believe that senior citizens continue to function as viable, critical participants in our society.
Senior Centers offer a unique combination of enrichment programs and care services for people aged 60 years old or over. There are numerous services that are offered to the senior citizens in the United States, which includes the congregate meals, fitness and transportation, arts and crafts. They offer over 30 hours of exercise each week and different dance classes and different classes according to the seniors’ interest. They also give travel programs in which wonderful local trips and extended tours are offered to the senior citizens to museums, theater shows and Bay area cities.
The senior centers also provide exciting social activities which include international themed luncheon, golf and tennis socials, card playing, monthly birthday luncheon, bingo and many more. These Senior Centers help their members to find resources in the community that assist them to continue to remain independent and safe in their homes. They also give legal services to their members. There are also programs offered to the senior citizens that will assist them in paying their monthly costs and other costs in Medicare prescription drug coverage.
The senior centers also provide in home care programs that may include companionship, meal preparation, personal care, grooming and light housekeeping duties that will promote freedom, self-care and pride to its member. Some Senior Centers run an Adult Daycare center that provides socialization, crafts and supervision to their loved ones outside the home as well as a breathing space for the caregiver.
Senior Centers also encourage their members to become active in community service, to become a volunteer in some assignment that will match their skills and their interests. They will serve in different types of non-profit organizations or public agencies. These activities will put their skills and life experiences into effect in their community and help become a part of a growing family of caring, talented individuals that will make a difference in their lives and in their community.
The heritage of senior centers and their role in the community represents more than 50 years of tradition. The services in these senior centers may vary but their commitments to support the frail senior citizens to maintain their independence and health in their homes and communities that will give them comfort and act as workable and important members in the society despite their age are very remarkable.
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