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  • Clay W. Cone

Naples Senior Center achieves accreditation

From National Council on Aging and National Institute of Senior Centers


Naples Senior Center Art Class

 

Naples Senior Center, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive programs and social services for local seniors and their families, today announced that it has become one of just 111 senior centers across the United States, including just eight located within the state of Florida, to achieve accreditation from the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC).


Accreditation means that Naples Senior Center meets the standards as developed by NISC in developing quality programs and services to meet the needs of seniors in the community. The center was specifically recognized for its implementation of programs and services, including many collaborative projects with other community organizations.


“Successfully achieving accreditation takes the work of many people both in the senior center and in the community,” said Dianne Stone, Associate Director of Network Development and Engagement for NCOA. “When these two groups work together, the rewards will be felt for many years to come. We congratulate Naples Senior Center for taking on this rigorous and voluntary challenge. It is a strong message to the community that this center will go the extra mile to provide opportunities for aging well.”


In their report, peer reviewers observed many noteworthy strengths of the Naples Senior Center, including the focus on individual participant needs. Staff and volunteers go above and beyond to make sure older adults are recognized and their individual needs are met with specific programs. Staff were especially diligent in checking on seniors after the hurricane, and the center provided gas cards for volunteer drivers when prices were high.


“We are delighted to achieve this very prestigious accreditation which is a validation of our commitment to quality programs and services,” said Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, President/CEO of Naples Senior Center. “We actually started the accreditation process a few years ago, but were challenged by the pandemic and Hurricane Ian, which both demonstrated our ability to adapt to meet the changing needs of the older population in Collier County.”


Naples Senior Center is the only human services agency of its kind, providing “one-stop shop” services addressing the emotional and social needs of seniors in Collier and southern Lee counties. Since opening its doors in January 2014, the organization has seen a surge in the depth and scope of the need for comprehensive senior services in this region.

All programs and services are provided by licensed and credentialed professionals. These include Structured Dementia Respite Support, Geriatric Case Management, Senior Outreach Programs, and Emotional Support Services as well as a “choice” Food Pantry.


An average of forty different social, educational, and wellness programs are also offered each week thanks to a dedicated corps of more than 200 trained and vetted volunteers. Among these social programs are classes in art, music and film, brain fitness and educational seminars, courses in technology and computer science, physical well-being, and interest groups. The center serves everyone regardless of background and beliefs.


To accommodate future growth, Naples Senior Center is constructing a new 30,000-square-foot building on Autumn Oaks Lane, just a block south of Immokalee Road. This site will enable seniors to benefit from a nurturing, natural setting that offers outdoor space for walking, quiet contemplation, and low-impact exercise programs such as tai chi. The project is being funded through a capital campaign that was launched in 2019 and was accelerated by a $5-million commitment from philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker.


For additional information on the Naples Senior Center and its comprehensive programs and social services for area seniors and their families, visit www.NaplesSeniorCenter.org.


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