When a center member's health begins to decline, center staff may notice changes in the member's level of independence and safety. For example, a senior who was once able to move around the center confidently may begin to experience falls. When this occurs, center staff work with the individual to determine if steps can be taken to help the senior participate independently and safely again. For example, the individual who experiences falls may be referred to his physician for evaluation. In some cases, the staff's recommendations result in an improvement in the individual's functioning, as in the case of the senior whose doctor prescribed the use of a walker.
Sometimes it is not possible for the senior to return to their previous level of independence and safety at the center. If center staff think that the senior requires more assistance than the center can provide, or if the person cannot participate safely, then the issue is addressed with the senior (and the family, if appropriate). Depending on the policies and programs at the center, one or more of the following options may be offered.
Options for Less-Active Seniors
- The senior may be permitted to bring a companion or aide to help with personal needs.
- The senior may be referred to programs or services for less active or health-impaired seniors.
- In some cases, the senior may be referred to an agency or program outside the senior center network, such as Adult Medical Day Services.
Eating Together Programs
Each center's Eating Together Program has rules regarding reservation and cancellation of meals. These rules are designed to facilitate ordering from the caterer, and to avoid waste. Seniors must follow those rules in order to participate in the program. Before participating in the Eating Together Program at your center, inquire about the reservation and cancellation policies.
Most programs that provide transportation for seniors have policies for scheduling and canceling trips, in order to serve as many seniors as possible. Seniors must follow these rules in order to use the system. Repeated violations of the rules may result in suspension of riding privileges.