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Senior Centers: Delivering Vital Connections

September is National Senior Center Month, a designation through the National Council on Aging that provides senior services organizations an opportunity to highlight their age-positive programming and the incredible work they do enriching and prolonging the lives of older adults.

Preventing social isolation is vital to older adults’ mental and physical well-being, and central to most senior centers’ mission of holistic wellness. Researchers have long known about the health benefits of “social capital”—the ties that build trust, connection, and participation. Social capital is especially important for older adults, because health and existing social capital generally declines with age.

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, most senior centers have been forced to close their doors, making it more important than ever to find new and creative ways to engage older adults. At centers across the country, Zoom classes are filling the void left by in-person enrichment opportunities like exercise and dance, card and table games, classes in art, music and film, and educational seminars.

Many centers are offering virtual caregiver support classes, targeted support programs for those suffering from dementia, and information and referral services related to the pandemic and available resources.

Additionally, with the help of volunteers and through financial contributions, many centers are offering pop-up food pantries and food-delivery services to the most vulnerable seniors in their service areas. Northshore Senior Center in Bothell was recently featured in this Seattle Times article for its notes of encouragement that accompany bags of donated food for seniors in need.

Write a letter of encouragement

How you can help

Senior centers rely on donor support to keep their programs running. Consider volunteering at or setting up payroll deduction for one of our many local centers:

Homage Senior Services
Charity Code: 0337214
Largest provider of critical services for seniors and people with disabilities in Snohomish County. Through 28 programs in food and nutrition, health and wellness, social services, home repair, and transportation, 28,000 people are served annually.
Pike Place Market Foundation
Charity Code: 0316443
Raises funds to purchase food, child care, medical care and housing services for the low-income and elderly people of the Pike Place Market neighborhood.

Senior Services of Island County
Charity Code: 0316431
Programs serve elderly, disabled and low-income citizens. Services include congregate and home-delivered meals, transportation, housing, adult daycare, information and assistance, employment and senior activities.

Wallingford Community Senior Center
Charity Code: 0316445
WCSC fosters healthy, secure, positive aging, while building community across generations. Varied programs promote healthy active living, social connection transition support, technology access and literacy, lifelong learning, and civic involvement.