55 North leads the way for area’s older adults

55 North is a community-based nonprofit with a celebrated history of providing quality lifestyle programs, services, and resources for adults 55 years and older. 55 North programs offer innovative opportunities for older adults and their caregivers to stay connected, inspired and supported. 

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, services for adults aging in place and their caregivers were already changing, as we adjust to longer life spans, active lifestyles, and the needs of caregivers. If it hadn’t been for the support and love from our community partners and supporters, we would not have been able to take the sharp turn and run toward the exciting innovation needed to serve the community. 

After spending many months surveying program participants, supporters, local churches, and the community for the best ways to connect area seniors with services, wellness programs, and more, the board and staff of 55 North, formerly known as Hyde Park Center for Older Adults, created a strategic plan to serve the new and emerging needs of older adults in our community.

Growth and change

Due to the constraints of the pandemic, coupled with opportunities for online engagement, 55 North moved its administrative offices to 3975 Erie Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208. The organization reinvented programs and services to meet mental health needs and began outreach to caregivers who are struggling even more during the pandemic. 

Executive Director Shelley Goering

“It was hard to leave the building that has been the Center’s community home since 1980; however, our vision that all adults are supported, connected, and respected in their community is more important than ever,” said Executive Director Shelley Goering.

“Though we are operating with a new name from a new location, we are continuing our vital services, including transportation, health and wellness programming, nutrition, and social services. We have a newly energized commitment to our mission, to empower adults 55 and older to be independent, active, healthy, engaged and connected,” said Goering.

Reacting to the pandemic

After activities were suspended temporarily last March, 55 North quickly converted from in-person congregate meals to a home-delivered meal program. Transportation services continued, and a calendar of engaging online offerings replaced the programs previously held at the Center. Social work support services continued uninterrupted, with phone calls and online appointments replacing in-home visits.

Now, 55 North’s social services have pivoted to COVID vaccine education. Partnering with Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, 55 North is helping to inform and assist older adults with the vaccination process. If you know a senior that needs help registering and/or scheduling transportation to get vaccinated, please call 55 North at 513-321-6816. 

In addition to its “core four” services, 55 North also introduced new programs in 2020. As a way to keep everyone connected during these isolating times, Digital Connect, a technology bridging initiative, offers one-on-one tech support to seniors, as well as free tablets and internet service to low-income older adults who qualify. Caregiver Connections programs provide support and guidance for those caring for an aging loved one.

All East Side residents are encouraged to stay connected with 55 North by visiting www.55North.org. Sign up to receive regular email updates and follow 55 North on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. 

This content provided by 55 North.

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