Congratulations to the Town of Enfield Senior Center on achieving National Senior Center Accreditation on March 25, 2017. This was the center’s third accreditation.
The Town of Enfield Senior Center is located in a suburban community north of Hartford. Enfield started as a rural community but has grown to be a community home to many corporations and businesses. The town encompasses 33.8 square miles with a current population of 45,246. One fourth of the population is over 55 years old.
The Enfield Senior Center has been in operation for 38 years. For the first 25 years, the Senior Center was located at 25 High Street. In June of 2003, the staff of the Senior Center moved into a 25,000 square foot, state of the art facility offering congregate meals, transportation, home delivered meals, caregiver education, health and wellness programs, arts and cultural programs. The Prime Fitness Center is a unique part of this facility. It boasts a variety of fitness equipment and trained staff that assist participants with a work out plan, guidance and support.
The Senior Center is open Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM-8:00 PM and Friday 8:00 AM -5:00 PM. Monthly, the Center hosts a live band concert on Fridays from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM with 350+ people in attendance. On average 600 people visit the Senior Center daily. The median age of a Senior Center participant is 72. The guideline for participation is set at 50 years of age or older.
The dedicated and well-trained staff organizes a well-rounded list of programs which has created a vibrant and well attended center. Through strong community partnerships, the Senior Center has been able to enhance services by working with local organizations including but not limited to:
- The Enfield Rotary Club has constructed a community garden on the grounds of the Senior Center that provides opportunities for civic engagement and provides fresh produce for local food relief agencies.
- Visiting Nurse and Health Services of CT that provide weekly blood pressure screenings, flu clinic and other medical services.
- The Lion’s Club and the Garden Club partner to host a Pancake Breakfast and a Plant Sale with the Senior Center Craft Fair.
- The Enfield Athletic Hall of Fame is housed at the Senior Center.
- The Home and Community Health Services facilitates a Bereavement Support Group at the Center.
- A non-profit organization, Pedi-care provides foot-care for the community of older adults.
- A local hearing aid vendor gives free hearing screenings.
- Meals on Wheels are delivered from the Center and the Community Renewal Team provides the noon meal.
- The Center has forged partnerships with Asnuntuck Community College, Baypath University, Springfield College and the University of Connecticut. Students volunteer at the Center and lead classes as part of their college requirements.
The peer reviewer noted the following strengths of Enfield Senior Center
- The staff is very experienced, dedicated and enthusiastic with great ideas for programming and collaborations.
- Mission statement is clear and concise.
- Well-written and detailed annual report.
- Innovative and dynamic list of programs, like the 50+ employment fair, speed dating, Pickle-ball, “Boxing and More: Exercise for individuals with Parkinson’s” and the “Death over Dinner” program.
- Diverse health, wellness and fitness programs. The Prime Fitness Center is a valuable resource at the center.
- Offers successful monthly live entertainment program that is affordable with 350+ in attendance.
- Offers extended open hours (8-8 Monday-Thursday and 8-5 on Friday) that makes the Center accessible to people who are working.
- Great attendance with an average of 600+ coming to the Senior Center daily.
- Extensive and diverse evaluation tools are used.
- Supportive Advisory Board and Friends of the Senior Center group.
- Extensive community connections are made by the staff. They look for partnership opportunities in order to offer new and improved services.
- Excellent volunteer handbook! Should be used as a model for other Senior Centers.
- Exceptional marketing plan which includes the use of the website, Facebook, You Tube, Pinterest, a senior center brochure and newsletter.
- Great facility. Appropriate space for socializing and classes both large and small.
During the accreditation review, the Town Manager, Bryan Chodkowski, was very complimentary of the Senior Center. He said, “Our center has comprehensive and robust programming.”
Connect with your governance and show the value of your center through the NISC National Senior Center Accreditation process. Visit www.ncoa.org/national-institute-of-senior-centers/standards-accreditation to learn more.