MySeniorCenter Fun Facts

Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Summer is over. It's time to pick up the pencils, dust off the rulers and get back to regular life. But before we do that, we should address a few questions that were kicking around our collective brains while we were relaxing on the beach during our (too-short) vacations. In order to create mental space for all the cool projects we're working on this fall, we're emptying out those questions, and answers, right here.

Let's have a look.

Welcome to...Fun Facts - the
Beach Questions


Check It In

We've all experienced some changes to our daily routines in the past 2+ years. As discussed in Fun Facts several times, Senior Centers have been incredibly innovative in keeping participants active, social and healthy. Checking in for activities at the Center has required some new approaches as well. While the percent of non-touchscreen check-ins peaked in 2021, we were curious if everyone had gone back to touchscreens. While the majority of participants (87% in August) are checking in via the touchscreen, there's still a persistent 10-15% using the handheld scanner, check-in mobile app and manual entry (staff checking the box in MySeniorCenter). In the graph below, which shows the different check-in methods, virtual programming is lumped in with manual (thus the *).

Check-ins using the handheld scanner were mostly (83%) for food-related activities. There was a fairly even split across congregate dining, pick-up/curbside and food pantry. Food insecurity is a serious problem and Senior Centers are helping to fill that void.

Check-ins using the mobile app were overwhelmingly for pickleball, with a smattering of other programs.

MAC the Knife

Now that slightly more than 25% of all Centers are using MyActiveCenter (MAC) for at least a portion of their registrations, we wanted to know if any new patterns had emerged. In the early days of MAC usage, the programs listed were almost exclusively fitness related. Not so much anymore. Here's a graph showing the registrations by program type in August:

Similar to the scanner check-ins, the majority of Nutrition registrations on MAC were for pick-up meals. Social was 80% bingo. Fitness was spread across the usual suspects of aerobics, yoga, cardio, Zumba, dance, chair and (this was new) Barre classes. Meditation and mindfulness were popular in August, so we grouped them together in a category called Self-care.

Roughly 15% of MAC registrations were for virtual programs in August. MAC is a great way to automate the registration, communication, and attendance process for any of your virtual or hybrid programs. Participants can sign up on MAC and then receive an automated email with the join information. Those automated emails are generated by the Broadcast system, which led to another of our beach questions: Now that Broadcast includes voice, text, email, and auto-generated emails, what's the most popular form of communication?

Calling All Angels

Voice, or what used to be called "Voice Connect" is still the most popular form of broadcast with 57%. Text and email are gaining fast, though. Auto-generated emails, which are created when someone uses MAC to sign up for a program, accounted for 19% of the overall broadcasts.

The number of broadcasts is only part of the story. We were also curious about the number of messages sent. Think of it this way: the broadcast is what you record (or email/text) and the messages are the recipients. For example, if you record something and send it to 20 people, that's 1 broadcast and 20 messages.

Average number of messages per broadcast:

  • Overall - 170 messages per broadcast
  • Voice - 196 per broadcast
  • Email - 318 per broadcast
  • Text - 171 per broadcast
  • Auto-generated emails - 13 per broadcast

Using broadcast to send email newsletters and flyers was the most common use of the email function in August. Voice broadcasts included invitations, event reminders/cancellations, and general announcements. Although there were some very large text broadcasts that influenced the averages listed above, the most popular uses were staff and board communications.

The Pareto Principle

What does a 19th Century Italian Economist have to do with Senior Centers? Based on his study of land ownership in Italy, the principle states that 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. Most of us know this as the 80/20 rule, or the rule of the vital few. A question we had was whether the 80/20 rule applied to participation at Senior Centers. You can probably guess where this is does! Roughly 23% of people listed in the average database, accounted for 80% of all participation at the Center.

Senior Centers: Strengthening Community Connections

September is National Senior Center Month and NISC has some great resources to help you with programming and celebration ideas! Check them out by clicking the image below:

Have a safe and happy Labor Day! Remember that we're celebrating you and your hard work.