Through the Older American’s Act (OAA), the purpose of the senior center is to facilitate the social, emotional and physical well-being of Tennessee’s adults age 60 and over as part of a comprehensive and coordinated system of community-based services and activities. Senior centers provide access to community resources that maintain independence and wellness.
The AAAD serves as the agency designated by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) to administer a comprehensive and coordinated system of services for adults age 60 and over and adults with disabilities, including senior centers.
The purpose of OAA funds is to ensure the provision of services for older individuals with social or economic need with particular attention to low-income older adults (including low-income minority, older individuals, older individuals with limited English proficiency, and older individuals living in rural areas) and adults with disabilities.
Services Available Through Senior Centers
Some of the services available through local seniors centers include:
- Resource Information: Linking adults age 60 and over and adults with disabilities to information about community services and/or programs
- Congregate Meals: Providing a nutritious lunch to older adults in each of the fourteen counties (see Congregate Meals for available locations)
- Health Promotion: Offering opportunities for participants to learn about healthy aging and participate in activities that promote healthy living such as health screening and health education about diabetes, arthritis, healthy cooking, handling caregiver stress, etc
- Physical Fitness & Education: Engaging participants in physical fitness and exercise activities or classes such as walking clubs, dancing, aerobics, stretching, etc
- Recreation: Involving participants in social activities such as card games, crochet/knitting/quilting, painting, music, craft making, etc
- Education: Offering continued learning opportunities for participants with classes such as computer skills, navigating Medicare benefits, music lessons, art classes, etc
- Telephone Reassurance: Providing comfort and companionship through regularly scheduled calls to home-bound individuals made by volunteers or staff
- Evidence Based Programs (EBP): Evidence-based programs (EBPs) offer proven ways to promote health and prevent disease among older adults. They are based on research and provide documented health benefits, so you can be confident they work. Older adults who participate in EBPs can lower their risk of chronic diseases and falls—or improve long-term effects of chronic diseases or falls.Programs offered through Upper Cumberland senior centers vary annually. Examples of EBP programs include:
- AEA Arthritis Group Exercise: Overall sense of well-being; better quality of life; reduce pain/inflammation; increase social interaction; fun, safe and effective way to promote better health; improved joint function; increased muscular strength
- AEA Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program: Warm-water exercise program suitable for every fitness level, shown to reduce pain and improve overall health. Exercises include range of motion, muscle-strengthening, socialization activities and an optional, moderate intensity aerobic component.
- Enhance Fitness: An ongoing, low-cost, evidence-based group falls prevention and physical activity program developed specifically for older adults. The exercises focus on four key areas important to the health and fitness of participants: low impact cardiovascular; dynamic/static balance work, strength training and stretching.
- Living Well With Chronic Conditions
- Stepping On: Offer strategies and exercises to reduce falls and increase self-confidence in making decisions and behavioral change in situations where older adults are at risk of falling
- Tai Chi For Arthritis: Improve movement, balance, strength, flexibility, and relaxation; decrease pain and falls
- Take Charge of Your Diabetes
- Walk With Ease: Reduce pain and discomfort of arthritis, increase balance and strength, build confidence in the ability to be physically active and improve overall health among older adults. Designed to decrease disability and improve arthritis symptoms, self-efficacy, and perceived control, balance, strength and walking pace
If you are interested in attending or finding out more information about evidence-based programming available in your area, contact your local senior center.
If you are interested in starting an evidenced-based program in your area, learn more about programs that meet the Administration for Community Living’s criteria for highest level evidence-based programs under the Title IIID of the Older Americans Act by clicking here.