Senior Community Services had a humble beginning 42 years ago, starting in a single room at a Yeadon senior center.
Today, it is Delaware County’s largest nonprofit senior services agency, employing 60 people and overseeing 400 volunteers and a $3.5 million budget. Its mission is to help seniors live independent and meaningful lives.
SCS works with the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA), providing access to senior centers, home meals and home services.
The agency was founded in 1977 by Arthur Weisfeld, along with two social work classmates at Bryn Mawr College. Weisfeld continues to serve as SCS executive director.
SCS operates four senior centers—Friendship Circle in Darby, Good Neighbor in Darby Township, Schoolhouse Senior Center in Folsom, and the Chester Senior Center in Chester.
A non-traditional “center without walls,” program reaches Aston, Brookhaven, Concord, and Springfield, touching the lives of almost 900 older adults in those neighborhoods.
Nearly 8,000 older adults visited an SCS senior center 79,000 times last year.
Nearly one in five older adults in the county, 23,000 of them, were helped in 2018 through its programs and services.
SCS offers meals at its centers and at home and is the largest provider of meals in the county, delivering 120,000 meals a year to homes, five days a week.
It also offers home care management, caregiver help, health, nutrition, and finance information and an aging-at-home program that brings home repair and handyman services to more than 300 Greater Lansdowne and Ridley residents.
An experienced staff and guest experts deliver 30 to 35 hours of programming a week to the senior centers.
“We try to identify good talented and dedicated staff and keep them as long as we can,” Weisfeld said.
In honor of National Senior Center Month in September, Senior Community Services will celebrate the theme, “Senior Centers: The Key to Aging Well!” by focusing on its health and wellness programs, from flu shot clinics and fall information sessions to Zumba classes. You can check out those programs by visiting the Senior Community Services website.
Senior Community Services also provides long-term care management to seniors who want to stay at home but need support. They’ll help with home modifications like grab bars and chair lifts and contract out with home care agencies to provide personal non-medical care as needed.
“When we survey people, more than 80 percent say they want us to help them live independently for a longer time. Ninety percent want to stay in their homes. People want to delay nursing homes and assisted living, and they want to be with family and friends,” Weisfeld said.
Caregivers also receive support.
“There are two things people are not prepared to do when they set out—parenting and end of life caring for a spouse or parents. We provide counseling, education and other support for the caregiver.”
It runs a program on health insurance counseling, to help seniors navigate Medicare. Up to 10,000 people attend public presentations about managing Medicare. Another 13,000 get advice on selecting the best insurance plan for them.
“We can help older adults save hundreds in premiums and co-pays,” Weisfeld said.
Senior Community Services is hosting an inaugural awards gala, Thursday, Nov. 7, 6 p.m., at the Springfield Country Club.
It will honor Edward E. Baum posthumously for his contributions to public health and aging services in Delaware County; Denise V. Stewart, director of COSA, and SAP North America for their contributions to improving the quality of life for seniors and other community members.
For information, tickets or sponsorships, call John Federico at 484-496-2147. For more information about SCS and a full calendar of events, click here, follow SCS on social media or visit your local senior center today.