Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Franklin, MA: Council on Aging - Senior Center

The Franklin Senior Center offers a wide range of programs, services and activities that serve older adults and disabled individuals by addressing their unmet needs and seeking to improve quality of life. The Center is located at 10 Daniel McCahill Street and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Town-funded staff includes 2 full-time employees and 3 part-time employees. Other staff includes a part-time Health & Wellness Nurse (grant funded) and a full-time Supportive Day Program Coordinator which is supported through program fees. The Center’s CafĂ© and Gift Shop are staffed with volunteers.

The Senior Center offers opportunities for health screening and wellness, nutrition, social service coordination, socialization, recreation, transportation, educational programs, a supportive day program, and volunteer positions.


The Senior Center was awarded Innovator of the Year by the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors for our Safe & Secure at Home program. This program provides rigorous outreach to frail elders and offers adaptive assistance to homebound, isolated seniors who are at risk for life-threatening falls.

This year two new, evidence-based programs were offered at the Center - My Life, My Health and A Matter of Balance. These wellness programs were designed by Stanford and Boston University respectively, and are being utilized nationally and state-wide to improve health outcomes. Evidence-based programs are a result of planning, implementing and evaluating programs adapted from models that help individuals effectively manage chronic illnesses by gaining skills and adopting beneficial health behaviors. Research supports results of improved health status, decreased health care utilization, and improved health management behaviors for participants in this type of programming. These programs were extremely well received at the Senior Center.

At the request of the Town Council’s Subcommittee on Outreach to the Elderly, the Council on Aging collaborated with the Assessor’s Office in an effort to substantially increase the number of real estate abatement applications for elderly homeowners by assisting elders with their applications. This effort resulted in a 52% increase in abatements being granted to needy elderly residents. Given the grim economic climate, the COA also offered intensive outreach regarding several social benefit programs such as food stamps, fuel assistance, and circuit breaker property tax relief. Senior Center staff and volunteers attended a Diversity Workshop presented by The VNA Network which emphasized respect for diversity and helped develop cultural competency in serving culturally diverse clients.

Also this year, we expanded our intergenerational programming by partnering with the Oak Street School. Each month a class visits the Senior Center and participates in an activity with seniors. Also new this year, Franklin High School art students offered art classes to seniors at the Senior Center. This year, the Senior Center worked with the Police Department to create a Connect CTY database which enables us to inform elderly residents of vital information, or of Center closings due to inclement weather.
From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.

For additional information on programs at the Senior Center visit the website:

The January "Franklin Connection" newsletter can be found here:

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