To establish and provide services for older adults by encouraging, promoting, and safeguarding their rights and abilities so they may enjoy maximum health, well-being, and independence.
To become the primary focus (not the sole focus) for older adult activities in the county through the establishment of the senior center and by partnering with other agencies whose goals complement BCCOA’s mission.
The Commission believes in the State’s philosophy of “no wrong door” and, to that end, will provide access, information, and referral for any service to older adults that may be required throughout the county. The Commission will partner with other agencies to maintain a presence throughout the county.
The Commission will solicit and promote volunteerism through the older adult community to expand its services and provide those older adults who volunteer with a sense of worth and accomplishment. The Commission will strive to provide outreach and services to those older adults whose needs for services are the greatest. The Commission will seek and facilitate cooperation and consensus of action through our partnerships with community agencies and governmental bodies in all areas where missions are convergent.
The Branch County Commission on Aging (BCCOA) was created by a resolution of the Branch County Board of Commissioners in 1974. It has been housed at the H. & C. Burnside Center since 2002 and aims to provide services, activities, and programming for Branch County residents ages 50 and over. The building is easily accessible for all older adults with its one-floor design. The atrium reflects a warm, welcoming atmosphere where patrons are greeted by one of Burnside Center's many volunteers and leads into the dining area. The greeter is ready to answer questions, provide directions to a class, or assist with program information. The north wing hosts most of the programs and includes two pool tables, the computer lab, two activity rooms, and the wood shop. The south wing holds the Grahl Room, most of the staff offices, the exercise room, the clinic, and the craft room. Parking is available in both the front and back of the building.
There is no enrollment fee for the Center and the building is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The building is closed on weekends and during recognized holiday times.
A bimonthly calendar of scheduled activities, upcoming trips, and more information are printed in Burnside's newsletter, Burnside Buzz. Other marketing events can be found in The Daily Reporter newspaper, in the Shoppers Guide, on the radio, on Facebook, and in the reception area at the Center.
The COA is supported by funds from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Aging, Community Living and Supports, the Branch-St. Joseph Area Agency on Aging (Region IIIC), Branch County Senior Millage, Older American's Act, Older Michiganian's Act, and donations.