Welcome to National Senior Center Month hosted by NCOA and our National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC).
This Senior Center Month we're 'Strengthening Community Connections'
Celebrated every year in September, Senior Center Month is a time to shine a light on senior centers, showing the entire nation how vital they are to the health and well-being of a community. Senior centers provide countless hours of support and encouragement to older adults, and have become integral to health care delivery in our communities by providing COVID-19 guidance, vaccine education, and vaccinations to their participants. And they've played a role in addressing an issue that we all knew was important even before the pandemic: social isolation.
That's why the 2022 theme for Senior Center Month is Strengthening Community Connections.
The 10,000 senior centers in communities and neighborhoods across the country provide access to information, opportunities, and support to improve the lives of people in their communities as they age. Senior centers have evolved since their beginning in the 1940s, through their inclusion in the Older American’s Act in 1973, and up to today. But the mission has remained: to be the local, trusted place in the community that connects people to the programs, services, and opportunities they need to age well.
Senior centers work with community partners to provide access to health, economic security, social engagement, purpose, creativity, mobility, nutrition—all in a social and fun environment. We want to celebrate all senior centers from the smallest to the largest and give you the opportunity to get the word out in ways that resonate with your community.
This September, join senior centers across the nation and celebrate how you Strengthen Community Connections. Locally, plan events and activities during Senior Center Month to promote the impact you have and the value you bring to your community—your current and potential participants, collaborative partners, funders, and governance.
Your Senior Center Month To-Do List
- Strategize — Use the listening session profiles in the Senior Center Program Guide (see list of downloads below) to reflect on your own experiences of the past year and build a roadmap for the future.
- Customize the 2022 Poster — (see list of downloads below) Bring recognition of National Senior Center Month to your center by customizing our 2022 poster. On page 7 of the Senior Center Program Guide, we provide you with detailed instructions on how you can add your own photos and contact information. If you customize your poster, please save it as a PDF and share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Educate your elected officials — Help raise awareness about how public dollars support services and benefits for older adults, caregivers, family members, and the community at large. Senior center staff and participants are well- positioned to explain how limited public investment, along with growing demand, is having a domino effect on programs and services that help older adults remain healthy and independent in their own homes and communities. It’s important that Congress understand how older adults and caregivers are being affected by funding and policy decisions.
- Mix it up — Consider planning a different event each week or choose one week out of the month to hold several activities.
- Enlist senior center members — Your members know best what appeals to their cohort. Enlist them to help you create and implement activities.
- Use the Publicity Guide — (see list of downloads below) Capture awareness and promote community involvement and support for your celebration by creating a plan using our Publicity Guide. Your local media is always looking for a good story about how your community is supporting older adults. This is a great time to engage them with happy, empowering stories of how your center is the key to aging well with exciting virtual and in-person programs and a focus on healthy living. Our Publicity Guide offers a step-by-step media plan with timelines and tactics, making reaching out to local reporters easy.