Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two Collaborations You Need to Know About

Now more than ever we at Senior Citizen Services are being called to combine resources with fellow organizations to better serve our seniors in need. It is fitting that “collaboration” was one of the values that we as an organization highlighted in our Strategic Plan.

One of the exciting collaborations with which we have been engaged is between SCS’ Vivian T. Minor Adult Day Care Center and Marcus Jewish Community Center’s Weinstein Adult Day Care (Buckhead location). Both programs are operating under one roof with combined staff and streamlined operations. Our facility is alive with a greater number of seniors, with a wider range of needs represented, and best of all, a broader set of skills to meet the needs of our seniors. Though still in its early stages, this collaboration is already gleaning positive results for our seniors and their caregivers.

A different kind of collaboration has been taking shape with our Neighborhood Senior Centers. An innovative health and wellness collaborative has reshaped the way that seniors manage their health and chronic diseases (diabetes, heart-disease, depression). SCS and a team of collaborative agencies have been able to provide an evidence-based chronic disease self management program developed by Stanford University to participants of the Centers.

Under the leadership of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Aging Division, SCS and its partners, The Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression at Emory University, Visiting Nurse Health System, Atlanta Technical College, Project Open Hand, Piedmont Hospital Sixty Plus, and The Arthritis Foundation, have been able to combine resources to provide practical tools and peer support for the behavior change necessary to manage such diseases. Though also in its early stages, participants have claimed a greater sense of control of their disease, increased support in making decisions around exercise and diet, and decreased doctor visits.

These are just two examples of how Senior Citizen Services continues to chart a new course for providing services for seniors. You can be confident that each dollar donated and each hour volunteered now goes further thanks to such collaborations in every program. We will continue to seek such partners to be able to continue to meet the needs of the growing senior population.

by Jeffrey Smythe
Executive Director

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