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Livable and Senior-friendly Communities

Senior Center Pilots

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The focus of the planning effort and the strategy for accomplishing the task differed among the sites, so these pilots have yielded a diversity of modifiable tools and products.

Tools and Products

Franklinton - Nashville - High Point

Franklinton Senior Center, Franklin County
Patrick Woods, Director

Security is one of the chief concerns of older adults—security from fraud and exploitation, as well as safety at home and in the community. The pilot project in Franklinton built on a project already under way that had created a registry of workers seniors might call on for assistance in doing yard work and helped seniors install motion-sensitive lighting at their own doors to keep them safer at night when returning home or answering the door. Based on an assessment of community needs, the center and its SFC planning advisory committee focused on two similar areas of concern—identifying and foiling door-to-door scam artists and better protecting their personal information.

Franklinton's project accomplished the following things:

  • A community Scam Jam event was held.
  • Fraud alerts are now aired on cable channel 10.
  • A brochure on fraud and scam was developed and is available at the Franklinton Senior Center (FSC).
  • Paper shredders may be borrowed from the FSC.
  • There is a permanent network of churches and businesses that will get information to seniors.

Particularly as it concerns door-to-door scams, the senior center hopes to establish a telephone alert system.

Nash County's Senior-friendly Logo

The NASH, Nashville, Nash County
Jamie Wilson, Director

The NASH established a senior-friendly action team, comprising at least 60 community members including business owners, representatives from the chamber of commerce, local officials and departments, the area agency on aging, and the faith community, as well as some unusual community partners. Jamie Wilson and Stacie Nelson, the project organizers, felt that having a group this large would allow them to educate a diverse group in the community.

The project incorporated a regional pilot whose objectives were (1) to develop a tool to certify businesses as being senior friendly and (2) to create community sensitivity about facts and misconceptions about older adults through training.

The following products were developed:

  • Senior-friendly logo
  • Certification tool for businesses
  • Brochure on ageism
  • Promotional items, such as pins, stickers, and magnets, based on the logo, including one to be used by individuals to acknowledge outstanding service: "You've been caught being senior-friendly"
  • Training for volunteer certification teams.

To certify businesses as senior-friendly, trained volunteers will visit them and use the certification tool for analysis. Businesses that are certified will receive a "senior-friendly kit" to assist it in being "senior-friendly" above and beyond the requirements of the certification evaluation. Periodic recertification will be required, but details have not been finalized.

Both the certification tool and the training for volunteers have been tested. Plans include beginning to certify businesses in Spring 2006 and maintain the certification process. While Nashville was the focus of the pilot, Wilson and Nelson hope to provide consultation to interested businesses throughout Nash County and to have the Senior-Friendly Action Team take on another area of interest.

  • Agenda containing recommendations for organizations seeking certification and a timeline of the project
  • Self-assessment form for cultural venues

The Roy B. Culler Senior Center, High Point, Guilford County
Calvin Vaughn, Director

The Culler Center partnered with the High Point Convention and Visitors' Bureau, the Arts Council, the Area Agency on Aging, and the Guilford County Aging Planning Committee to develop a tool to use in evaluating social and cultural venues specifically for certification as senior-friendly institutions. The certification tool is patterned on the SCOPE tool for evaluating senior centers, and venues that gain certification must pass a certain proportion of the areas in the tool. Organizations that are certified will be reevaluated every 5 years.

The following products were developed:

  • A self-assessment certification tool
  • A senior-friendly logo (based on the one developed in Nash County)
  • A brochure
  • A certificate and display sticker for certified venues.

Through the use of regular radio broadcasts and the senior center's newsletter to publicize the program, Vaughn has publicized the program in the community, with the result that the community is aware of senior friendliness, the senior center, and the center as a leader within the arts and cultural community. As of April 2006, of the 16 venues that might request certification, 3 have been certified and another 4 are in the planning stages of the process.

Updated 4-21-06, mlm