top of page
  • Clay W. Cone

Baker Senior Center Naples marks milestones in connecting old adults



Baker Senior Center Naples, a non-profit organization that serves as the leading advocate for older adults in our community, is celebrating not one but two milestones during 2024.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of when the senior center officially opened its doors, welcoming local seniors with a wide range of social activities aimed at combatting loneliness and isolation. The organization also is celebrating the one-year anniversary of when it moved into its new, 30,000-square-foot permanent home located in North Naples.


Originally founded as Naples Senior Center, Baker Senior Center Naples opened its doors on January 22, 2014 as the first senior center in Collier County. Located in a small rented space on Castello Drive, the senior center initially offered social programs and activities to just 80 initial seniors. Membership has since expanded to over 2,600.


“When we first started, no one could have imagined the surge in the depth and scope of need for comprehensive senior services in this region. At the same time, there was little assistance available for older adults,” said Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, President/CEO of Baker Senior Center Naples. “We are thrilled to observe both milestones and look forward to further providing confidence, connection and support to all seniors in our community.”



Since its inception, Baker Senior Center Naples has evolved into the only human services agency of its kind, providing comprehensive “one-stop shop” services addressing the emotional and social needs of all adults over age 60 on Collier and southern Lee counties.

All programs and services are provided by licensed and credentialed professionals. These include the Brookdale Cognitive Health Services, including Dementia Respite Groups and Caregiver Support; Geriatric Case Management and Senior Outreach Programs; and Mental Health Counseling as well as a “choice” Food Pantry.


An average of 40 different social, educational and wellness programs also are offered each week thanks to a dedicated corps of over 200 trained and vetted volunteers. Among these programs are classes in art, music and film; brain fitness and educational seminars; courses in technology/computer science; physical well-being; and interest groups.


In recent years, Baker Senior Center Naples has remained at the public forefront as a champion for local seniors. During the global pandemic, for example, the organization partnered with the Florida Department of Health in helping over 7,500 seniors get vaccinated against Covid-19. Many of these seniors lacked the technology needed to book an appointment with the state and had trouble obtaining the life-saving vaccine.



Once it became known that Baker Senior Center Naples was securing appointments for seniors, gated communities, civic groups and hospitals began referring seniors, and when the number of incoming calls exceeded capacity, the center added phone lines so staff and volunteers could help every older adult in the community who wanted it. The center also contracted with a home health care company to provide transportation when needed.


More recently, Baker Senior Center Naples partnered with the Collier Community Foundation to help seniors in the recovery process after the devastation of Hurricane Ian.

Older adults were especially hit hard by the September 2022 hurricane with limited financial resources or family members to assist them. Senior center staff and leadership worked with local seniors and connected them with the community resources they needed to rebuild their lives, particularly those living in low-income areas of Collier County.


Through the years, the senior center has experienced tremendous growth in the number of programs offered. To accommodate this and future growth, a new building has been built.

Located at 6200 Autumn Oaks Lane, the new Baker Senior Center Naples replaces the formerly leased facilities that the organization had outgrown due to the region’s surging senior population. The new state-of-the-art building provides additional space for new and enhanced social services and activities for adults over the age of 60.


The project was funded through a capital campaign that was launched in 2019 and was accelerated by a $11-million commitment from local philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker.

For further details on Baker Senior Center Naples and its comprehensive programs and social services for seniors, call 239.325.4444 or visit bakerseniorcenternaples.org.

Comments


bottom of page