Devices help track senior center activity

Haley Gustafson | Daily Press Gladstone Senior Center volunteer Lynn Walden swipes her card at the SeniorStat kiosk at the Gladstone center recently. The new program, which gives each senior at the center their own card, will keep track of the number of senior citizens participating in various activities at Delta County centers.

ESCANABA — Senior centers around the area recently received technology updates that will help track the activity and participation at the centers.

According to Sally Kidd, director of Senior Services Program at Community Action Agency, the upgrades were made possible through a grant from the MDS Community Action Agency. The program, “SeniorStat,” has been placed in the Escanaba, Gladstone, and Rock senior centers, noted Kidd.

“It’s just a much better way to track activities,” said Kidd, adding prior to the technology, seniors and center staff were using paper sign-in sheets as a method of tracking activity and meals distributed inside of the centers.

SeniorStat is set up on a kiosk system, explained Kidd, and when seniors visit their local centers, they swipe a card through the system and use a touch screen to mark why they are coming to the center. Activities seniors participate in include eating a congregate meal, playing cards, exercise classes, bingo, and much more.

Seniors sign-up for their own card that can be swiped through the system, noted Kidd.

Their information, including name and emergency contact, is placed into the computer. When they visit, the computer will know who is who based on the card swipe, added Kidd.

Information complied from the new system will be used to see active each center is and see which activities are most and least popular, as well as how many are coming for daily meals. The data can also be submitted to the state as a funding resource.

Kidd hopes the updates will only help the centers move forward and keep up to date with the latest technology, adding the additions are just one way to better senior’s experiences while visiting centers.

“We really do have great senior centers,” said Kidd.