Friday, May 24, 2024
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Upper Cumberland Senior Center Rebranding In Works

Upper Cumberland Senior Centers looking to rebrand as they try to bounce back from COVID closures.

The UCHRA is conducting surveys to develop a rebranding plan revolving around the removal of the word “senior.” Area Agency on Aging and Disability Director Holly Williams said she has heard from people who do not want to attend senior centers because they do not consider themselves “seniors.” Executive Director Mark Farley said he wants to see the centers to include more health-related activities for a changing senior community.

“With this changing dynamic, we can’t just sit back and offer the same programs we always offer because it’s not going to attract people in,” Farley said. “The key is the social factor. that’s why we put so much emphasis on the senior centers, is to get people together.”

Farley said the Upper Cumberland’s senior population is changing. He said older people are more active and tech-savvy than ever. He said this necessitates programming that encourages health and provides activities outside of what has been offered in the past.

“We want to make this a big deal,” Williams said. “Let’s do grand reopenings at these centers and really try to draw people in through those doors who have just never come to the center before.”

Williams said the UCHRA has ARP money that can be used for expenses incurred during the rebranding process. She said new signage is a major factor that can be addressed with those relief funds.

“Since COVID has occurred and the centers were closed during that period of time, after they’ve reopened, it’s been hard for them to rebound and for that population to want to come back together collectively, eat together, etcetera,” Williams said. “And so, we’re thinking that this is really an ideal time to make those changes.”

Board members suggested ideas like increased opportunities for sponsored outings for center attendees like lake days. Other recommended more physical activities available like pickleball. Williams said senior center directors will continue to survey members and boards to solidify the rebrand and grow the popularity of these senior resources.

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