In an effort to make and keep our Senior Actions Centers fiscally sustainable I propose the following:
All action center visitors should sign in with a time upon arrival and a time upon departure. This will enable us to accurately track the number of seniors utilizing the center as well as the peak and off peak days and times.
Hold annual appointments of those members and citizens that are willing to serve our Seniors in the event the center manager is not available. Once the infrastructure is in place:
We can slowly move to a single action center manager to cover two action centers. The vast majority of the expense to keep these action centers open is wages and benefits packages. Many counties have one manager for two and possibly three centers.
Before any further action is taken on closings or partial closing there should be demographic studies performed. In an era when over 70 million Baby Boomers are preparing to retire we cannot act without a clear understanding of the data and needs of our seniors.
Should these action centers be closed in the future, we must also take into account the negative effect a closing can have to our seniors. Without a normal and healthy interaction with their peers, my fear is that some may become recluse and or shut-ins; at that point their health can deteriorate and they themselves may end up on our waiting list for services at Area Agency on Aging.
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to propose changing the name of the action centers to remove any stigma associated with the word senior. With life expectancies at their highest rate and continuing to climb, thanks to wonderful research and health care provided by the free market, many seniors are active and healthy, many are still able to participate in activities such as golf, skiing, tennis, bowling, hunting, as well as many other activities. In order to attract younger retirees similar events can be offered which will raise the participation rate across the county.
I will not allow this state or federal government to use the greatest generation as scapegoats for their inability to do what is best for those that built this great nation.