Saturday, August 14, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Senior Center

The Franklin Senior Center is located at 10 Daniel McCahill Street and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM The Center provides programs, services and activities along with outreach, information and referral to serve the needs of older adults, people with disabilities and their families. Social services assistance is available to all adult residents in Franklin.

The Senior Center offers health and wellness, nutrition, social service coordination, socialization, recreation, transportation, educational and cultural programs, a supportive day program, respite care and volunteer and intergenerational opportunities.

The Center’s mission is to enhance the independence and quality of life for Franklin’s older adults by:
Identifying the needs of this population and creating programs that meet those needs.
Offering the knowledge, tools and opportunities to promote mental, social and physical well-being.
Advocating for relevant programs and services in our community.
Serving as a community focal point for aging issues and as liaison to local, state and Federal resources for older adults.

This proved to be the most challenging year we have weathered, given that the COVID-19 crisis forced the closure of our building to the public in March of 2020. Our focus quickly shifted to assuring that elders – those most at risk - were able to obtain food, supplies and other critical services. As we moved into April and May under the shutdown, we added several remote meetings and activities and teleconferencing groups. Staff also provided reassurance calls to our members and delivered masks and medical equipment. Our Coordinator created weekly email blasts with fun links to great ideas, performances and diversions. On June 1 we introduced the Curbside Café, offering curbside lunches to elders at a reduced rate. The following report chronicles the highlights of our year and our adjustment to the new reality of life after COVID.

The Center launched a 50+ Job Networking Program, with funding from the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging. The program offered biweekly, 2-
hour workshops with instruction from a certified Career Coach who reviewed networking strategies, interview role-playing, LinkedIn guidance and ongoing support. The program continued to be offered remotely after the COVID pandemic closed the Senior Center in March. The program saw 410 attendees, serving 140 unduplicated individuals with 18 sessions.

We continued our Dementia Friendly Franklin initiative, funded by the Metrowest Health Foundation and the Friends of Franklin Elders. This program offers training and support to learn how to interact sensitively and support those living with dementia so they can remain engaged in the community. It is offered to community organizations, businesses, houses of worship, schools and others. While COVID stalled progress in this program, we were able to train 13 community organizations and 445 individuals last year.

We launched the Curbside Café in June thanks to a generous grant from the Metrowest Health Foundation. The program provides freshly prepared lunches for curbside pickup for elders 60 and over at the Senior Center, at a reduced rate of $2 each.

As the shutdown continued, we shifted several programs to a Zoom format. Staff also created programs to accommodate the “new normal”, including weekly email blasts, a Quarantini Hour and a ‘Be Well’ Coffee Hour, via Zoom.

Continue reading about the Senior Center in the PDF version of the Annual Report (page 113) or the print version (#107)

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Visit the Senior Center on the Town of Franklin page to subscribe to the newsletter or find additional information ->

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Senior Center
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Senior Center

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