Congratulations to two senior centers on achieving National Accreditation in November 2019

Lake City Senior Center, South Carolina

The Senior Citizens Association in Florence County (SCA) is the parent organization of the Lake City Senior Center. Chartered in 1968, Senior Citizens Association is a private, non-profit agency mission is to provide a full range of services to the County’s senior citizens. 

Lake City is located 24 miles from Florence, an urban area centered in Florence County, SC. Currently, Florence County’s population is estimated to be 136,885 and Lake City’s population is 6,675, based on US Census Bureau data.

On July 9, 2003, thirty-six (36) local citizens attended the hearing to secure a senior center in the community. On November 18, 2006, the Lake City Senior Center’s dedication took place.  The building is a 7,000 sq. ft. building on a one and one-half acre site in the downtown area of Lake City. The Lake City Senior Center membership over 400 and the average daily attendance is 150. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, and periodically opens in the evening for special events. Normally, there is an average of 4-5 activities offered each day ranging from meal program, exercise, computer lab, bingo, arts/craft, educational seminars, etc.  The age range of participants is 55-85 and primarily more females are in attendance than males.

The Lake City Senior Center receives municipality financial support to operate the Senior Center.  The County funds are directed through the City of Lake City for the operations and maintenance of the building.  The administrative structure is the responsibility of SCA where the Senior Center Coordinator, Receptionist, Site Manager and drivers fall under the parent organization. The Lake City Senior Center’s primary funding sources are Florence County, City of Lake City, Older Americans Act Funding Title III, the South Carolina Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging, United Way, membership fees, and donations. 

The peer reviewer noted the following strengths of the center;

  • The center is a safe and active place with City support for the facility, a caring community and staff who love their work and work well together.
  • An excellent evaluation process developed which could be a Best Practice.
  • The center is meeting the needs of seniors in a lower income area.
  • Having a specific marketing position is a bonus for outreach and fundraising.
  • Center’s collaborations are many and benefit seniors.

Marshfield Senior Center, Massachusetts

The town of Marshfield is located in Southeastern Massachusetts in Plymouth County. Marshfield is a suburban coastal community 30 miles south of Boston.  Marshfield has a yearly population of 25,525 residents. The population swells to 40,000 in the summer months.  24% of the residents are 60 years of age or older.  The town has a three-member Board of  Selectman, a Town Administrator and an open town meeting structure.

The Marshfield Senior Center is a community focal point for resources and activities for older people, volunteers and caregivers. The center opened its door in 1957 in the American Legion Hall and moved to its current location in 2003.  In 2018 the center served 2,205 different people and provided volunteer opportunities for 297 residents. The center serves 188 individuals on an average day.  27% of the participants are under age 70, 49.5% are between the ages of 70-79, 20% are 80-89 and 4% are over 80 years old. Older adults from 40 different communities participate in Marshfield programs each year.

The center has 16 full and part time employees, two senior aides and 60 volunteers. The volunteers provide the work of 18 full time equivalents.

The center offers 45 Lifelong Learning classes a year, 63 educational, recreational and wellness fitness programs, shuttle bus transportation, congregate and home delivered meals, numerous support groups, information and referral, advocacy, financial programs, and Age Friendly and Dementia Friendly activities such as the Memory Café.

Center volunteers provide staffing for fuel assistance applicants, the  SHINE Program, referrals, advocacy and benefits and legal assistance.

Fifty-one community residents volunteered to participate in the accreditation process.  This diverse group was comprised of town officials, community leaders, center staff, volunteers and participants and board members.  The committee met monthly for more than a year. Committee members in general were surprised by the scope of the center’s programming and as result participation at the center increased.

The peer reviewer found the following strengths of the center:

  • Detailed Plan and moving forward with accomplishments
  • Tax Relief Program-Best Practices
  • Strong community partnerships
  • Invested board member and very active Boosters Club
  • Talented staff with strong leadership.
  • Volunteer contribution is notable
  • Strong Social Service programs and a wide variety of Lifelong Learning and Health and Wellness Programs
  • Town support is very strong
  • Center is an attractive, welcoming facility and leaders commissioned a study to address the growing senior population

Involve your community leaders in the accreditation process and increase your membership through the national accreditation and the self-assessment process. Learn how the National Senior Center Standards and self-assessment process can help you achieve excellence at your center.