In 1988 there was a statewide mandate issued by the governor and the State Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services to create what is now known as the “Better Living for Seniors Initiative” to address the needs of the state’s senior population. From this initiative, the Polk County Chapter was organized.
Several programs have been initiated to better serve our community. The “Better Season for Seniors” program collects Christmas gifts to donate to Polk County seniors that have no family and would not otherwise receive a Christmas gift. This program has grown to over 400 gifts being distributed each year to seniors in area shelters, nursing homes and other social agencies.
“Empathy For Elders,” a Sensitivity Training Program, was designed to educate our community regarding issues confronted by Polk County seniors. This educational presentation and training seminar is presented by our dedicated BLFS members who volunteer their time. This one-hour class reviews the challenges facing our senior citizens and offers guidance on how to care for and serve seniors as well as assist them to better their lives. Contact BLFS to offer this training to your group.
Our “ASK THE EXPERT” forum is sponsored by the BLFS Education Committee. A panel of experts in several geriatric fields answer the most commonly asked questions within their area of service. Q & A documents are available for publication in the newsletters of the 50+ communities within Polk County.
BLFS also offers valuable networking opportunities for the many private companies, government, and volunteer agencies to interact and learn what services are available to Polk County seniors. Our monthly membership meetings include informational and educational opportunities from a wide range of guest speakers that bring us all up-to-date on the many aspects of “improving the quality of life” for Polk County seniors.
Membership has grown over the years to over 175 local businesses and agencies.
Our tag line says a lot about who we are. Polk County Better Living for Seniors is “A Coalition Dedicated To Improving the Lives of Seniors.”
We face many challenges in the years ahead as America’s senior population grows. Working together we can accomplish more. Our coalition exists to better equip our community to meet the needs within our Polk County community.
- BLFS will provide the following in support of this mission:-Monthly meetings to network with senior service providers
- Guest speakers that will keep us informed and equipped
- Website resources and online database search capabilities to find needed services within the membership and connect with other members
- Print directories (published annually in Polk ElderCare Guide )
- Website forums and interactive email list-serves for posting questions to subscribed BLFS members.-Avenues for sharing and collaborating on events
- Community service and benevolent projects
- Educational programs to benefit our communities such as our “Empathy for Elders”
- Forging strategic partnerships in the community
- Participation and co-sponsorship of conferences, seminars, health fairs, etc.
- Professional and career development
- Coordination of senior service referrals