MySeniorCenter Fun Facts

Monday, May 2nd, 2022

Most Senior Centers offer activities, socialization, transportation, nutrition and social services. In the last ten years or so, there has been a move by some community administrators to make the Senior Center a function of the recreation department. That shift can result in a fancy new building, new exercise equipment and access to pickleball courts; but what can get lost is the social services component - the very thing that gives a Center its superpower. Seniors in a community thrive when their local Centers help them age in place with dignity, independence and purpose. Sometimes that means solving problems that can't be addressed by a yoga class, game of cards or line dancing. And sometimes that means social workers and case workers need to get involved to work through those problems.

This issue of Fun Facts celebrates those special things that make Senior Centers indispensable in the community.

Welcome to...Fun Facts - the Your Superpower edition


Heroes Can Save Us

Due to COVID, we haven't released a market reach edition of Fun Facts in a couple of years, but the last time we looked at the data, the average reach of a Center was 7.8% - which means that a typical Center reaches 7.8% of the eligible Seniors in their community. The number jumps to 10.8% for those centers that offer social services. You can reach an additional 3% of a community's Seniors when you flex your superpower!

In most years, the average number of service units delivered by a Center is 1,246. In 2020 and 2021 that number shot up to 1,474 and 1,795 units, respectively! Social services were critial during the heat of the pandemic. Based on the number of services delivered so far this year, we're predicting that 2022 will also be well over the pre-pandemic average.

Everyday Superhero

Service interactions cover many topics and happen in many places. In 2021, 44% of all interactions took place over the phone. After that, outreach in the community (hospitals, retirement communities, houses of worship, etc.) was the most popular.

Although the largest service category was general information and assistance at 19%, the diversity of services is profound. Because there are so many different categories in use across the Network, we grouped them into one of the 15 largest categories shown below. Social service workers need to cover a lot of ground!

I Won't Let Go

There are two stories being told in the following graph. The first is the number of services received per person is high in the 85-99 cohorts. But what's most interesting, and unusual, is the other story: the number of services per recipient in the under 55 category. This isn't an age group typically served by Senior Centers. Because of the pandemic, more people needed help and the normal service options weren't operational. Senior Centers were able to fill the void and help people in need, regardless of age group.

Hey Brother

The volunteer profile in last month's Fun Facts received a lot of fun feedback, so we created another profile for service recipients.

Something Just Like This

To quote The Chainsmokers & Coldplay from Something Just Like This:

I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can miss

That's your superpower. Flex on.