Congratulations to the two senior centers that achieved National Senior Center Accreditation in June 2018. Our newly accredited centers include the ONEGeneration Senior Enrichment Center in Reseda, CA, and the Monroe Center for Healthy Aging in Monroe, MI.

ONEGeneration Senior Enrichment Center

The ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center, located in Reseda California. The San Fernando Valley community is one of the fastest growing older adult communities throughout southern California. The Center supports older adults as they age in place in their community, by offering them opportunities to socialize and participate in wellness activities and stay connected to resources to maintain an active and independent lifestyle. The center is attended largely by economically vulnerable older adults from over 35 countries. There is a strong sense of culture and diversity at the center.

ONEgeneration services are offered on two campuses located within one mile of each other. The two campuses include: ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center (OSEC) and the Mark Taper Intergenerational Center. They provide an array of programs for older adults which include the ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center, an Adult Day Care (both a Medical and Social model), Nutrition Services, Case Management, Child Care/Preschool program, and a Farmers Market.

The ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center is home to all Senior Center activities as well as the Case Management Department which focuses on serving homebound older adults. The Senior Enrichment Center provides opportunities for not only socialization, but also physical fitness, health education, wellness programs, nutrition, and social services to active older adults who are still engaged in the community.

They have over 100 programs and classes offered each week and all programs and services are offered at little to no cost with an annual membership fee of $12 per year. The average daily attendance is 250 members per day with over 2,300 members enrolled in the program since 2016.

The peer reviewer noted the following strengths of the senior center:

  • The planning document uses a “smart goals” format that makes it easy to understand the objectives and actions steps to meet goals.
  • A strong list of community partners and a newsletter that is emailed out to over 5,000 people.
  • Utilization of a large group of volunteers to teach classes and assist with functions at the Center. The volunteer program is run by a full-time staff person.
  • Great success with a wide variety of programs offered at the Center. One exercise class had over 50 people in attendance. They have two staff running a successful travel department with day trips and they contract for longer trips out of state and country. They offer a yearly senior symposium and job fair that brings in over 1,000 participants.
  • They offer a number of intergenerational programs. One successful intergenerational program they are very proud of is called Sages and Seekers.
  • All staff are engaged in teaching at least one evidence based program at the Center or off site.
  • They have a dedicated social service worker on staff who works full time running a program called Harold’s Help Desk in which they assist seniors with services and answers to questions.
  • They have an engaged administration who listens to the concerns of the Director and staff. They all work closely for the continued success of the facility.

The Monroe Center for Healthy Aging

The Monroe Center for Healthy Aging is located in Monroe, Michigan. The city of Monroe is 14 miles north of Toledo, Ohio and on the west shore of Lake Erie. Monroe has the largest population in the county of Monroe, 152,021 (based on the 2010 census). Boating and fishing are popular and there are many small shops and restaurants found along the Raisin River Basin. Monroe has a lot of history, as it was the site of the Battle of Frenchtown in the War of 1812 and the birthplace of General Custer. Furniture manufacture Lazy Boy has their headquarters based in Monroe.

The Senior Center is located on the first floor of the Mabel Kehres Apartments, which provides low-income housing for older adults that has 220 units and townhomes within close proximity. The center is about three miles from the downtown area. Public transportation is available and makes frequent stops to the center and housing complex.

There are social, recreational and volunteer opportunities, WIFI access and computer stations, educations programs, pool, cards, bingo, breakfast and lunch, an organ group, travel opportunities, Tai Chi, yoga, exercise classes and machines, special events, brain aerobics and more.

The center is open 365 days a year, serving 1,500 annually with an average daily attendance of 106.

The peer reviewer noted the following strengths of the senior center:

  • The facility’s hours of operation, programs, and services, meals, and responsiveness to their patron’s needs are excellent.
  • The policies and procedures are very good, especially when addressing patrons with challenging cognitions.
  • The Executive Director’s connection and presence in the community is a strength for the center. She is a leader in the community and with the aging network in the county.
  • The center itself is a model of best practices and culture for the other five centers in the county.
  • The center’s increased program offerings on health and wellness is attracting more participants.
  • The increased hours of operation, open three nights a week as well as 365 days a year is welcomed by patrons who might otherwise be home alone.
  • The meals are affordable and accessible for breakfast and lunch with some dinners available. They have recently implemented a new carry out program of meals, which is increasing in participation.
  • A strong and growing RSVP program.

Consider national accreditation and the self-assessment process to highlight all the positive aspects of your senior center. Learn how the National Senior Center Standards and self-assessment process can help you achieve excellence at your center.