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3 Reasons to Love Senior Center Month

As we arrive at mid-September, amidst our national celebration of senior centers, I thought it was good timing to share my top 3 reasons why I love Senior Center Month.

#1. Your celebration becomes part of our historic story.

This September, your celebration becomes part of the rich, 37-year senior center tradition, our shared history, and long-held belief in the value of senior centers.

  • 1979: Our national celebration of senior centers began with Senior Center Week.
  • 1980: The active involvement of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Aging Task Force resulted in numerous mayoral proclamations declaring Senior Center Week.
  • 1985: NISC was instrumental in achieving the first Senior Center Week Presidential Proclamation signed by President Ronald Reagan.
  • 2007: Our week-long celebration moved from May, and we designated the entire month of September as Senior Center Month to give centers greater flexibility in scheduling celebratory events.

#2. I imagine our connection.

There are nearly 11,000 senior centers in the U.S. They are each diverse, each reflecting their own community, and each unique. At the same time, they have similarities. They all are where older adults find resources to make the most of themselves and their time while finding resources to address demands, challenges, and responsibilities. Our 2016 Senior Center theme, Find Balance at Your Center, highlights the many ways individuals find balance and whole-person wellness at senior centers, and how they bring us together. It is a theme we can all stand behind. As we celebrate this month with one voice, it reminds me of the words of John Lennon: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”

#3. It is an excuse to toot your own horn!

Those that attend your senior center and those that work there know how great your senior center is, but your larger community may be missing that fact. Senior Center Month is a time to celebrate the important benefits people have found by attending your center. Share stories of senior center participants who found balance, began an exercise routine, found a creative outlet, gave back to the larger community, or even made a best friend. Make the most of this opportunity to create a positive image of aging, show your center’s importance in the community, and share the potential of added years to achieve limitless possibilities.

Consider sharing your stories to help us illustrate the value of senior centers. How has your senior center made a difference in the life of an individual? Share now!

Happy Senior Center Month!

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About Maureen O'Leary

Maureen O'Leary has been the Program Manager for NCOA's National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) since 2007.