We live in the wealthiest county in Florida. However, we are remarkably lacking in fundamental resources for seniors and those caring for a critically ill loved one or friend.
“Collier Senior Resources (CSR) has been working actively over the past four years to bring agencies together and open the Golden Gate Senior Center to meet the needs of seniors and caregivers to find answers and resources making each day easier.” states Jim Barton, Board Chair.
For older adults on a modest fixed income in search of fellowship, affordable enrichment, wellness services, continuing education as well as basic services, resources are scarce.
For older adults alone, social isolation has been linked to increased depression, declining mental and physical health, and an increased risk of dying.
For caregivers in Collier County and those caring from long distance, there is no one centralized local place to gather information about resources and services available for seniors.
Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, CSR Board member, states, “The No. 1 reason elderly people become a victim is isolation. The Golden Gate Senior Center will go a long way in keeping seniors connected with the community and each other.”
Thanks to the Women’s Philanthropic Network of The Community Foundation of Collier County, we know that seniors are the neediest group and most underserved. In 2010, Collier Senior Resources was founded. The Board of County Commissioners generously leased the ‘old Golden Gate library’ as the home for the centrally located and easily accessible senior center.
Collier Senior Resources in conjunction with the Leadership Coalition on Aging have increased agency-to-agency communications to leverage resources and reach clients.
GOLDEN GATE SENIOR CENTER
Collaboration is the critical success factor for Collier Senior Resources. Dozens of individuals and organizations working together: donating funds, furniture, piano, organ, computers and time to renovate the original Golden Gate library—a charming building with stone siding built in the 1970s–and transform it to a spacious and welcoming place for seniors, caregivers and agencies.
Teamwork. The Golden Gate Senior Center opened in November with the County’s daily hot lunch program, Experience Works job placement and training for out-of-work, low-income seniors, and a weekly Meals of Hope food pantry for all in need.
Collier Senior Resources has partnered with numerous organizations to provide programs, socialization and convenient access to agency personnel such as Catholic Charities social services, Lion’s Club vision screening, Sheriff’s Office, Veteran’s Services, transportation, Area Agency on Aging and many more.
Educational seminars, support groups and events for older adults and caregivers will provide needed and valuable knowledge and resources. Since isolation and loneliness are significant problems, the Golden Gate senior center will offer arts, crafts, music, computer classes, exercise, gathering, recreational and developmental opportunities for seniors.
Tatiana Fortune M.S.W., Program Director, volunteers and staff are knowledgeable, helpful and available to answer questions and find solutions. The Center will embrace a ‘no wrong door’ philosophy ensuring that anyone who visits will find the information and resources needed; staff and volunteers will be fluent in English, Spanish and Creole.
“I’m really looking forward to having a space for seniors to be comfortable and welcome and to access services that will help them enjoy a better quality of life,” Fortune said.
For more information, please call Golden Gate Senior Center: 239 252-4541, visit our website: www.CollierSeniorResources.org or stop by and visit at 4898 Coronado Parkway, Naples, FL