COMMUNITY NEED: With 92% of our participants living alone, Heritage Place recognizes the importance of providing activities for vulnerable older adults who live alone or who are at high risk for social isolation.
Research shows that socially isolated older adults are at high risk for poor health and for poor physical, mental, emotional and social functioning. In fact, being a part of a social network of friends and family is one of the most dependable predictors of health and longevity. ("Senior Centers, Opportunities for Successful Aging", Beverly A. Beisgen & Marilyn Crouch Kraitchman, 2003) Health risks associated with social isolation have been compared in magnitude to the well-known dangers of smoking cigarettes and obesity (House 2001). Individuals who lack social connections or report frequent feelings of loneliness tend to suffer higher rates of morbidity and mortality (Brummett et al. 2001; Seeman 2000; Uchino, Cacioppo, and Kiecolt-Glaser 1996), as well as infection (Cohen et al. 1997; Pressman et al. 2005), depression (Heikkinen and Kauppinen 2004), and cognitive decline (Barnes et al. 2004; Wilson et al. 2007).
Heritage Place recognizes that the provision of senior-friendly center-based social and recreational services is a way to ensure that the basic social needs of vulnerable older adults are met.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Open Monday through Friday, Heritage Place offers senior-friendly classes, activities, seminars and events in our Senior Center Program. Our center-based classes and activities all have an educational foundation, yet become a social connection for the older adult participants. Our service model is very successful in delivering services directly to older adults. Participation in these programs often leads to meeting other basic needs, ride sharing, information sharing, emotional support and the adoption of other healthy behaviors.
Throughout the year, we offer weekly, bi-monthly, monthly and yearly classes, activities, seminars and events. Most are lead by dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers. Examples include:
a) Arts & Crafts - Knitting, Loom Knitting and Crocheting for a Cause, Floral Design Class and Sewing Class.
b) Clubs - Bridge Club (meets 4 times per week) and Scrabble Club.
c) Education -Inspirational Studies, SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program), Genealogy Studies Group, The Pop-Up Library, Good Grief Talks from the Heartland, Computer Classes and Spanish Class.
d) Fitness - Chair Aerobics Class (2x/week), Senior Yoga Class, Circuit Class, and Line Dance Classes (meets 4 times per week).
f) Music - Piano Lessons (meets 2 days per week) and Choir.
g) Health and Personal Care - Foot Care, Blood Pressure Screenings, Grocery Shopping and Manicures.
e) Outing Groups - Out to Lunch Group and Our to Culture Group
Heritage Place also schedules 36-40 educational seminars and services throughout the year. Examples include Medicare Benefits, Tax Form Preparation Services, Avoiding Fraud, AARP Driver Safety Class, Breast Cancer Awareness, Diabetic Shoes, Battling Weight Gain, Medicare Open Enrollment, Organizing Legal Papers and Estate Sale Planning, Caregiver & Holiday Scams, Critical Care, and Disaster Preparedness.
Events are also an important part of the Senior Center Program providing opportunities for education, as well as, social interaction. Examples of annual events include Spring Fling, Holiday Celebration, Spring Trip, Summer Trip and Fall Trip.
PROGRAM IMPACT: At year-end, 96% of our Senior Center Program participants report that participating in Heritage Place programs has helped them to stay socially active.
Rosie first came to Heritage Place about three years ago for help with preparing her taxes, because our location was close to her home. Once at Heritage Place, she discovered all the different classes and activities offered here and she joined, immediately!
"I started Chair Aerobics Class because I needed the exercise. I've fallen a lot, so this has helped me get back into moving more again. They say that it will help you lose weight, but that's not why I wanted to start this class. I wanted to do chair aerobics to help with my pain, and the class has helped a lot. It really works on your body!!"
I also joined the Spanish Class that is offered. I find it very interesting learning a new language. I have also learned so much about the Spanish people and the Spanish culture and customs. I have learned so much in that class. I have also gone on several class trips to Spanish restaurants. I don't really like spicy food, but I go for the fellowship. I always have a good time."
Heritage Place is such a wonderful place to come. Everyone is so nice. The staff are helpful and informative and the leaders of the classes are very patient and kind.
Heritage Place has definitely impacted my life. Chair Aerobics Class has helped me with my exercise and with my pain. And Spanish Class has helped me to learn so much new knowledge. I like Heritage Place and the people there a lot!!"
---Rosie, a participant in Heritage Place programs
Rosie's journey to Heritage Place is like so many other older adults. They arrive to participate in one program, find out about our other classes and activities, and immediately sign-up for some of them.
Now that you've read Rosie's story, please show your support for the vital services and high quality programs that we offer to older adults at Heritage Place.
SEND YOUR GENEROUS DONATION TO Heritage Place, TODAY!
You can make a difference!!! Your donation can help.
Heritage Place of Indianapolis, Inc. provides older adults with comprehensive and coordinated human services to encourage and promote healthy lifestyles, independence, well-being and quality of life. Through center-based activities and in-home services, we create opportunities for independence using the platforms of education & learning, companionship & fellowship and community resources information. Our programs address the critical older adult issues of obesity, poverty and social isolation.