Two Centers Earn NISC Accreditation
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Two Centers Earn NISC Accreditation

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April 10, 2014

Congratulations to the Good Samaritan Senior Services Center in San Antonio, TX and the Marilyn Michaelson Senior Center of Bloomfield, CT for earning National Senior Center Accreditation in March. Their interest, effort and investment into the self-assessment and accreditation process show that each center values providing quality services for their communities.

Good Samaritan Senior Services Center 

In 2008, Good Samaritan Senior Services Center became the only center in Bexar County, Texas to be accredited. Last month, they achieved their second accreditation. The center annually serves 175 seniors living on San Antonio’s west side, with programs including health and nutrition classes, dance therapy sessions, and arts and crafts activities. 

The senior center offers hot, nutritious lunches daily as part of its nutrition program. Free health screenings are regularly available through a partnership with the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. Throughout the year, the senior center also hosts various holiday and cultural celebrations. For many seniors living in the surrounding community, the senior center fulfills a vital need, reducing social isolation and improving their quality of life.

The peer reviewer noted the following strengths:  

  • The staff and volunteers are passionate, dedicated and committed. It appears that they are engaged and consistently looking for ways to enhance the activities, services, and partnerships of the senior center.
  • The facility is a strong component, due to its newness and décor, as well as the learning center located next door. Both of these facilities provide more than adequate space to expand programming for senior adults.
  • The agency has a strong emphasis on technology, databases, and software to track services and outcomes. Continuing to build on this into the future will provide robust data from which to make meaningful and effective decisions.
  • The agency shows good use of interns by providing a highly structured internship program for programming and services from which the senior center benefits. The formal internship program also provides a wonderful “learning lab” for students to learn about gerontology and positive responses to aging.
  • The senior center site council appears to be substantially involved in supporting the center via several fundraisers and is extremely dedicated to the center. The peer reviewer would recommend the expanded use of the site council in other leadership roles, such as the self-assessment process.
  • The senior center has developed many good partnerships with the healthcare groups, universities, and local organizations that result in many programs and services for the senior center. 
  • Being a part of a larger umbrella organization provides infrastructure and staffing for the senior center.

Marilyn Michaelson Senior Center  

Marilyn Michaelson Senior Center is the site of many outstanding recreational, social, cultural, and educational programs and activities. The Senior Services Department is committed to servicing the needs of a diverse population, 55 years and older, from the active newly retired to the frail and the homebound. The senior center has an impressive team of over 225 volunteers. This was the center’s third National Accreditation.  

The peer reviewer noted the following strengths:

  • Great staff cohesion and teamwork, including relationships with departments that share the facility as well as strong support of their town administration and Commission on Aging.
  • The center exemplifies the town’s example as a “caring community” through their home delivered meals and mini-bus curb-to-curb transportation for all adults in need who are 18 and over; and working in collaboration with the two other departments in the facility to provide a warming/cooling center to the community during extreme weather.
  • Creative use of a Bloomfield QR code for smart phones and tablets to quickly access the Senior Services website.
  • The Adopt-A-Room program is a great example of involving the local business community in renovating specific areas of the center. Two current examples are commitments from business to renovate the Café and Ida’s Shoppe. Other businesses are showing interest in other areas. 
  • The six mini-buses provide needed transportation to the adult community. In addition to adults of all ages, they also pick up independent clients from nursing homes for medical appointments, shopping trips, visitations, and visits to the center. 
  • During the review there was a clear sense of pride displayed by the staff, the Council on Aging, and the participants regarding the impact that the center and the Senior Services Department have on their community.
  • See their brochure.

NISC offers the only National Senior Center Accreditation Program. Accreditation provides official recognition that a senior center meets the nine national standards of senior center operations. Maybe it is time to assess your center through the National Standards and workbook and then pursue National Senior Center Accreditation. The manual and self-assessment notebook are a member benefit.  Visit the NISC Accreditation page.     

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