One website for Westshore seniors, families and eldercare professionals
A total of 7,878 and counting ... that is the cumulative number of programs, inclusive of some recurring programs of a series, that are scheduled throughout eight senior centers in these communities: Bay Village, Westlake, Avon, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville and Rocky River.
For free or at a minimal cost, seniors can stay healthy, learn something new, see movies, play card games and more. Not to mention being part of a community, making friends and being engaged.
Utilizing senior center programming is not a “Like” or “Follow” in the digital world; it is tried-and-true relationship curation in the real world. People-to-people connections, aka “connectedness,” can help combat loneliness and help keep seniors emotionally happy … but only if they know about them in the first place!
Community West Foundation based in Westlake understood what the recently formed collaborative of the above eight communities, together with the local nonprofit Center for Aging in the Digital World, was trying to bring to the communities. They empowered this collaborative, recently branded as “Westshore Seniors” with the catchy “Collabor8” tag, by funding the idea that was in gestation since summer 2015.
“As the internet becomes more important in our daily lives, Community West Foundation was pleased to provide the funding for this new program that provides better access to information for our seniors," said David T. Dombrowiak, president and CEO of Community West Foundation.
Westshore Seniors launched the website – westshoreseniors.org – to offer a new tool anchored in the digital world so seniors, their families and eldercare professionals can find out about the real-world programs and social services offered at the eight senior centers. Short- and long-term strategic plans are in the works to ultimately turn the website into a senior-centric information clearinghouse and a fully collaborative platform.
Let’s make one thing clear though: the website will never replace physical senior centers. Rather, the purpose is to augment the senior center and be there as another senior service delivery option.
David also had this to say: “We are the west side Foundation and are committed to taking care of our senior citizens. We also celebrate the many contributions of our area senior centers, especially their fantastic support in collecting thousands of items for our SocksPlus program to help our homeless neighbors. Thank you to our wonderful seniors who contribute so much to our community in so many ways.”
According to Lydia Gadd, director of Westlake's community services department, the Westshore Seniors “Tribe” collected 4000 pairs of socks and other winter essentials during the last three months of 2017. This only shows that patrons of our senior centers recognize the importance of helping other organizations help our communities at large.
So what are you waiting for? Go kick the tires at westshoreseniors.org. If you have one New Year's resolution to make, why not make it to explore and utilize the wonderful senior services at the senior centers! Knowledge leads to happiness! Happy New Year!
Strategist with over 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.
As Founder for the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, and Founder of geek with a heart with the service mark "Hand-holding You in the Digital World", Tak helps people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.