Twenty-four senior centers from across southwest Kansas, including some from the Golden Belt, have been recognized and designated a 2014 Focal Point by the SouthWest Kansas Area Agency On Aging, according to SWKAAA Executive Director Dave Geist. These centers were recognized for the programs and services that were provided Oct.r 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015.
A Focal Point Center is a highly visible facility where anyone can obtain information and access to services for elderly individuals, Geist said. To a family caregiver and older Kansans, it is a well known, accessible place to turn to for information, services in the community and social opportunities.
To be considered for a Focal Point by SWKAAA a senior center had to meet minimum standards in 10 different program areas. Outreach to the community, center management, supportive services offered by the center, and the center’s involvement in the community, were a few of the areas that were reviewed by SWKAAA staff during the yearly on-site visit.
“The needs of older adults in the community continue to change,” Geist said. And this is a good measure of the center’s ability to stay current with these demands.”
Additionally, in this time of economic constraints elected officials and taxpayers are demanding a greater accountability of how their aging mill levy funds are being spent, he said. This review process gives them a good snap shot of what they are getting.
“On behalf of SWKAAA’s board of directors and staff we extend our congratulations to these focal point centers for their willingness and efforts to improve the lives of older Kansans in their community and we commend them for the services they provide,” he said.
Area centers recognized include: Burdett Senior Center; Ellinwood Senior Center; Great Bend Senior Center; Sandyland Shepherd’s Center, St. John; Sunflower Senior Center, St. John; and VIP Senior Center, Macksville.