Miramar's Commitment to Excellence in Senior Services Recognized by National Accreditation
By Miramar Mayor Lori C. Moseley
October 15, 2012
In keeping with our motto, “Caring for our Community,” Miramar has been a leader in providing Senior Services, offering over 30 years of programs and activities to its residents age 55 and over. It is for this relentless effort that Miramar is the first city in Broward County to earn the status of National Accreditation by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), effective May 2012 to May 2017. During our 30 years of service, the city has seen a lot of changes in our demographics. The population boomed and the number of members at our senior centers grew significantly. No longer was it necessary for seniors to resign to a sedentary lifestyle after retirement. New members were looking for much more than BINGO and dominoes.
In response to the vibrant growing population, the Sunset Lakes Community Center was opened in 2003 to serve the residents at the far west end of the city. With its opening came a whole new dimension as more than half of those members were Spanish speaking only. The city hired Spanish speaking staff, arranged appropriate cultural activities, and grew with the needs of that center. Soon after, it was realized that our original senior center, located in historic Miramar, was bursting at the seams. This led to the construction of a 33,000 sq. ft. multi'service complex that houses a state-of-the-art senior center with specific rooms for arts and crafts, group counseling, fitness, ballroom, library and many classrooms to accommodate various activities. Incorporated into this complex is the South Broward Community Health Services Center, offering compassionate medical care for residents who cannot afford health insurance or are underinsured. Sponsored by Memorial Hospital Miramar, the Center provides patients with medical treatment, preventive forums, screenings and educational programs to city residents throughout the year. The Center also partners with the city to provide community health education presentations to the senior center members on various aspects of health and preventive care.
In addition to the medical services, certified city and contractual staff provide services that enhance the health, wellness and quality of life of the seniors such as Matter of Balance – an award winning evidence-based program designed to manage falls and increase activity levels; Aerobics of the Mind – with emphasis on exercises of the brain to improve memory and mental fitness; Jazzercise – a high rhythm low impact class designed for seniors; Enhanced Fitness – with a focus on flexibility and strength training; and several board games that stimulate thought. Our Generation to Generation (G2G) program promotes continued learning and encourages seniors to be students of increased growth and opportunity. Basic English and Spanish classes are taught continually and a computer lab provides the gateway to technological resources. Intergenerational programs allow seniors to interact regularly with children. Special holidays such as Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas create the perfect atmosphere for both groups to make cards and gift items together. In order to make additional impact, seniors participate in the Rainbow Readers club where they impart knowledge through reading, to elementary school children.
At the heart of all we do is our commitment to quality, which was the impetus for initiating the accreditation process that involved a complete analysis of the structure of our organization. The city dedicated almost two years to form external and internal partnerships that created the team of individuals that worked to achieve this recognition.
This National Accreditation status, awarded by the NCOA’s National Institute of Senior Centers, recognizes Miramar as a leader in the provision of quality senior services and a best practice model in the field for “meeting and exceeding senior center standards of excellence.”