"Mommy's Best Friend" (pen and ink),  M.S. Wirtenberg

To art show at Senior Center...awesome gallery honors our seniors!

W E S T O N    C T    S E N I O R    A C T I V I T I E S    C E N T E R   :

First there were only luncheons at Norfield Church, catered by volunteer organizations on alternating Wednesdays...

Then rooms were renovated at at Hurlbutt South House to supplement  the Norfield luncheons;  and now...with a "Friends of the Senior Center" and a "Committee on Aging" in place, senior services set to fill the needs of this growing segment of Weston's population!

NEW - And now, we add the activities of State of CT government!

A link to the same thing - this one on the Town Website.

Senor Activity Center Director and Friends of the Senior Center present analysis of adequacy and estimated space needs for the future..

T A S K F O R C E    O N    S E N I O R    C E N T E R S
We watched this meeting June 26, 2017 after the fact on CT-N.

CT TASK FORCE  ON SENIOR CENTERS:   http://www.ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=14244

First - Menlo Park California (before Social Security);  after crash of 1929, social security began.  1943 Bronx Senior Center. 
1965 - Older Americans Act.  Help people age with heath care and dignity.  Delay institutionalization.  Federal Allocation then to States, Regions and Localities.
Done by the States - lots of variety.  Senior Centers in cities.  Used to be funding (i.e. Meals on Wheels").  Recreational, nutrition, social services.  16,000 at the height of it - 10-11,000.  15% went there regularly (seniors).

THE FACTS:  Strenghs and weaknesses.  Widely varied - weakness - also wide degree of quality.  Meals, wellness, continuing education;   funding dropped.  Meals is the way to count turnout.  Peak at age 80 (turnout).
Proving outcomes tough.  Younger seniors and the community see it as a place for meals.  Data collected ("outputs") demographic.  A high school cafeteria just like it at Senior Center.  8 to 1 women to men.  "Don't bring anyone old."  People do not go to Senior Centers because they don't think of themselves as "old."  Services and programs offered different.  Funding an issue.  Are they now innovating?

HOW DO YOU INNOVATE?  Participation related to outcomes.   Are people who are more social go to Senior Centers?  Self-selection.  Skewed samples.  270 Senior Centers in N.Y.C. in 2008 - budget cuts to eliminate 20%.  Check "need."  Why close them?  $$.  Interaction needed?  What is the future model?  "Charter" or "Innovative" Senior Centers.  Health and wellness the focus.  Diverse.  Outcome study.  Recrit seniors and follow them.  Very expensive study.  3 groups:  new ISC, traditional, and not attendees.  Demographic data and screenings for anxiety, health, exercise, which programs, why stopped going, where to do get these things if not at Senior Centers - follow-up phone calls, focus groups.  Paid for interviews.

What did they find (3 yr. study finished last year)?  Positive results.  English, Spanish, Manderin.  Average 2 days a week.  Like choices - shop around.  Which Senior Center is by what meal is being served.  85 yrs old grew up during depression.  64 yr. old thinks less expensive is bad.  Who and why attends?  Social isolation means limited interaction and quick decline.  Health and wellness (not bingo) is #1 topic for programs.  50% attend for educational programs - brain is like a muscle - learn something new!  "College at 60."  Meals still play an important.  Exercise - age ranges - Zumba, cycling...  Performing arts, trips and entertaining, foreign language, clearing-house for info about senior services.

Senior Center the focal point in the community.  Education about eating and exercise.  For the majority 20% health better,  50% remained at level health   30% mental improved,  40% remained high - exercise:  big improvement.   Gaming (next study) - social network.  Socialization, programs, classes.  


What do Senior Centers need to be relevant?  Ans.  Rocky Hill survey of the whole community.  Health promotion and wellness - who do we collected data - data, data, data...Senior Centers will change in how they deliver.
Is there a similar core data services in every center (Rep. Bolinsky).  Standards?  Ans.  Determine minimum standards.  Minimum standards.  If you proscribe, you have to pay.  MUNICIPAL MANDATES.  Respect autonomy.
How to engage local leaders to feel this as an important thing?  Ans.  Overall, raise visibility in community.  Partner with others (programming).  Library.  Or inter generation programs with schools.  Senior should "speak up" - yes he really said it!).  Think outside of the box.

Multi-generational entry points.  "Can't" do.  Visibility.  Use all day.
How do you get additional staff?  Ans.  Chicken-egg.  Partner with graduate schools - interns.  Technology with high schools.  Volunteers - those who are seniors but do not identify as user of services at Senior Center.  $$ cobbled together - public-private.
Rep. Byron:  How do structural barriers deter using volunteers and interns.  Ans.  Not easy.  Retired professionals do not want to do filing and answering telephones.
Rep. Byron:  How to help with volunteers getting involved?  Ans.  Interns take a lot of work. 
Rep. Bolinsky:  Newtown high school students do computer work and resources.  Ans. Volunteers.


168 Senior Centers in CT
2010 previous survey has some fuzzy questions (my wording);  2017 senior center questionnaire. 2 pages.  Sending it out this month. 
July 12th next meeting.  OLR to be asked to get info on other states and their programs. Next meeting (July 12th) to feature others who might train volunteers (I think).  Broader networks.  How do senior centers network?

Ended on time!  Great meeting.

Jan. 31, 2015
Senior Activities Center something to be even more proud of, a re-opening...

(Comments as well as pictures NOT in order of speaking - third member of the Board of Selectmen on speakerphone from an airport.)  In summary...

Weston Senior Center Director Jen Ruddy resigns
Weston FORUM
Written by Kimberly Donnelly
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 11:50

Jennifer Ruddy, who served as the townís Senior Center director for nearly a decade, has resigned her position as of Friday, Aug. 12.

Please see Weston FORUM for complete article.


Grand Opening Saturday, June 3, 2006, 11am
At Hurlbutt South House - read all about it!!!  Nancy asks Jen to ask the Attorney General if they need a license to use this pair of scissors to cut the ribbon...

First Selectman Woody Bliss welcomes the overflow crowd to the new Senior Activities Center at Hurlbutt South House
Superintendent of Schools would have been present but had to visit elderly relative in Florida - Chair. of Board of Education proudly represented Dr. Pierson in welcoming seniors and the Town to Hurlbutt Elementary South House!   President of the Seniors greets everyone and Woody especially...Woody reads the Town of Weston Proclamation making June "Senior Activities Center" month in Weston...Always welcome in Weston, Attorney General of the State of Connecticut Richard Blumenthal is warmly greeted;  he says hello again to the familiar audience (he visits many times to discuss legal matters of interest to seniors).