Increased technology use, transportation issues and poor programming are all factors that have contributed to a lower use of senior centers, as of 2015. Technology helps some seniors remain connected, lowering their need for interaction. Other seniors lack transportation to centers or find center programming does not meet their needs.
Although senior citizens are often hesitant to embrace technology, many seniors use technology to stay connected to family and other loved ones. This lowers their need for face-to-face interaction, reducing trips to local senior centers. Technology provides conversations, games and other entertainment in a manner similar to senior centers.
Many seniors find it necessary to stop driving as their reflexes, eyesight and hearing wane. These seniors, especially in rural areas and small towns, lack transportation for visiting senior centers. Even when buses and other transportation options are available, seniors frequently have trouble accessing information about schedules to find options to meet their needs.
Conversely, younger seniors are less likely to have transportation issues but more likely to find that center programming does not meet their needs. Aging baby boomers are often physically and mentally active. Members of this population want dynamic programs that help them learn new skills, participate in volunteer projects and pursue their passions. Some centers are not evolving fast enough to meet these needs.