What is a ?

A is a community center providing a wide range of programs and services that are oriented to the needs and interests of older people. A Senior Center may be a facility dedicated specifically for Senior Center programming, or may be part of a larger community center that offers programming for all age groups as well as seniors. Senior Center programming includes recreational and leisure programs, human services, health and wellness programs, classes and other learning opportunities, and cultural programs.

A variety of recreational and leisure programs may be offered at a . Outdoor sports, such as bocce, pickleball and tennis, may be offered in a league format or on a casual basis. Indoor games, including cards, bingo, pool and table games are also popular offerings. Senior Centers often host performances and book readings, and organize dances, parties and other special events. Many Senior Centers also offer bus trips to performances, sporting events, and tours of special attractions.

Exercise and fitness classes, such as aerobics, Zumba, yoga and Tai Chi are common offerings among Senior Centers. Other health and wellness programs include blood pressure, glucose and other health screenings, wellness seminars, and consultations by health care providers. Senior Centers often coordinate health self-management programs which help people with certain conditions to manage their symptoms and effectively communicate with their doctors.

Most Senior Centers offer reduced cost or no cost meal programs and may also be responsible for managing the local Meals-on-Wheels program. Senior Centers typically have some capability for social service case management or for making referrals to other agencies for clients in need of human services or mental health services.

Senior Centers offer learning opportunities across many subject areas for older adults. Topics range from money management, nutrition and self-defense to subjects of personal interest, such as art and music. Most Senior Centers also have computer labs and offer training in computer skills and use of social media, as well as making the labs available for personal use. Senior Centers also often provide instruction on how to spot and avoid scams that target seniors.

The programming offered at a is usually provided by a combination of county or local government employees and outside agencies and service providers.