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Senior Centers Staff Meet Healthcare Representatives to Showcase Value

Post Date:07/05/2018

Senior Centers Staff Meet Healthcare Representatives to Showcase Value

On Friday June 22nd, staff from our region's senior centers participated in engaging discussions with various healthcare representatives. It was an opportunity to share about the great resources they provide in their local communities and beyond. In the 12-county Piedmont Triad region, there are 26 senior centers. There is at least one senior center in every county making them a significant resource for seniors, caregivers and individuals with disabilities.

The meeting included a brief introduction by the Area Agency on Aging director, Blair Barton-Percival, and then the healthcare representatives were welcome to mingle around the room with the senior center directors and staff. There was no formal agenda, and this meeting served a first introduction between the two groups. The one-on-one discussions focused on topics such as innovative programming, vital services and how senior centers can interface with healthcare across the continuum.

In order to prepare for the meeting, each senior center created a value proposition and focused on business acumen. As the healthcare arena is quickly changing from fee-for-service to value-based care, there is an increased interest in supporting community programs. Community-based programs, such as those senior centers provide, help address the social determinants of health. This is vital as social determinants of health, such as housing, food security, etc., affect an individual’s health anywhere from 40 to 80%.

Senior centers serve as the gateway to the nation’s aging network as they help connection older adults and their caregivers to vital community services that can help them stay healthy and independent. Additionally, Senior centers provide services such as health screenings, health promotion, counseling about insurance, transportation, support groups, telephone reassurance and congregate nutrition, to name a few.

When individuals receive these services, there is a reduction in social isolation, healthcare costs and an improvement in motor and cognitive functions. Seniors also have better access to services and resources. By regularly attending the senior center, staff can also help to screen if anything is wrong with a participant, such as if they are more withdrawn or not eating meals. Social isolation especially is very harmful to an individual’s well-being. In fact, the risk of loneliness is comparable to the harm of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.1  Partnerships between healthcare and senior centers can help reduce this risk and promote social connection among individuals.

The following senior centers were represented during the meeting: Davidson County Senior Centers (Lexington and Thomasville), YVEDDI and East Bend Senior Center, John Robert Kernodle Senior Center, Davie County Senior Center, ADTS and Center for Active Retirement, Reidsville Senior For Active Living Enterprises (R-Care), Walnut Cove Senior Center, Senior Resources of Guilford, Caswell County Senior Center, Roy B. Culler Jr. Senior Center, Randolph County Senior Adults Association – Asheboro Senior Center and Archdale Senior Center.

For questions or more information, please contact Laura Plunkett at 336-904-0300 or lplunkett@ptrc.org.