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Department of Aging Recognizes Senior Community Center Month

Secretary of Aging Brian Duke recognized September as Senior Community Center Month,
Secretary of Aging Brian Duke today recognized September as Senior Community Center Month, commending the efforts of senior community centers in providing invaluable services for older adults.

“Senior community centers play a vital role in helping older Pennsylvanians stay healthy by providing programs that concentrate on wellness, nutrition and prevention,” Duke said. “Many senior centers provide a network of programs and assistance for older Pennsylvanians that can help them to remain active while continuing to live in their homes.”

This year’s theme, “Senior Centers: Experts at Living Well,” highlights the resources and tools senior community centers offer older adults to enhance their lives and allow them to age and live well.

The 550 senior community centers throughout Pennsylvania provide a combination of health and wellness activities such as exercise classes, falls prevention education, preventative programs and nutritious meals. Last fiscal year, 3,495,964 nutritious meals were served in centers throughout the state to 73,469 eligible older Pennsylvanians.

Senior community centers also provide a variety of opportunities for older adults to socialize, obtain information about services and supports, learn a new skill, and volunteer to help their community or enhance their health. Centers work closely with their Area Agencies on Aging to provide access to legal assistance, health screening, senior employment and volunteer programs.

Recently, Governor Tom Corbett awarded grants totaling $2 million, helping 36 senior community centers. The grants will provide opportunities to update facilities and implement innovative programs to meet the needs of current and future members. The grant program continues this fiscal year and senior centers have until Sept. 5, 2014, to apply through a competitive grant process.

To find a Senior Community Center near you and to learn more about the programs offered at senior community centers, visit http://www.aging.state.pa.us.

The text for the proclamation recognizing Senior Community Center Month follows:

Proclamation
Senior Community Center Month 2014

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is home to over 550 senior community center sites that provide an extensive variety of health and wellness activities, preventative programs and nutrition services for older adults; and

WHEREAS, there are senior community centers in every county in the Commonwealth, playing a vital role in empowering older Pennsylvanians to stay healthy and enable them to remain in their homes and communities; and

WHEREAS, senior community centers provide opportunities for older adults to stay active, continue learning, share experiences and stay connected with friends and community members; and

WHEREAS, according to the National Council on Aging, senior community center participants have higher levels of health, social interaction and life satisfaction compared to those older adults that do not attend senior community centers; and

WHEREAS, these centers help older Pennsylvanians remain nutritionally sound by serving nearly 3,495,964 meals to more than 73,469 persons annually and providing programs that focus on wellness, nutrition, and preventing falls in order for them to stay in their homes and communities; and

WHEREAS, senior community centers work with the 52 Area Agencies on Aging to help older adults gain access to services such as legal assistance, health screening, senior employment and volunteer programs in all 67 Pennsylvania counties; and

WHEREAS, the National Institute of Senior Centers is celebrating National Senior Center Month in September with the theme “Senior Centers: Experts at Living Well” to recognize the special contributions of the senior community center participants, and the special efforts of the staff and volunteers who work every day to enhance the well-being of older Pennsylvanians.

THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim September 2014 SENIOR COMMUNITY CENTER MONTH in Pennsylvania and encourage all residents of the Commonwealth to recognize the important role senior community centers play in the lives of older Pennsylvanians.
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