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About Senior Centers

Senior centers serve as a gateway to the nation's aging network—connecting older adults to vital services that can help them stay healthy and independent. More than 60% of senior centers are designated focal points for delivery of OAA services—allowing older adults to access multiple services in one place.

To maintain operations, senior centers must leverage resources from a variety of sources. These include federal, state, and local governments; special events; public and private grants; businesses; bequests; participant contributions; in-kind donations; and volunteer hours. Most centers rely on 3 to 8 different funding sources.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA)’s National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC)

NISC supports a national network of over 3,000 senior center professionals dedicated to helping older adults remain active, engaged, and independent in their communities. NISC is setting the standard for the future of senior centers by promoting cutting-edge research, promising practices, professional development, and advocacy. NISC also offers the nation’s only National Senior Center Accreditation

Program. Accreditation provides official recognition that a senior center meets nine national standards of senior center operations. To date, more than 250 senior centers have received accreditation.

Senior centers offer a wide variety of programs and services, including:

•    Meal and nutrition programs
•    Information and assistance
•    Health, fitness, and wellness programs
•    Transportation services
•    Public benefits counseling
•    Employment assistance
•    Volunteer and civic engagement opportunities
•    Social and recreational activities
•    Educational and arts programs
•    Intergenerational programs