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A new way to check-in at the Alexandria Senior Center

The Alexandria Senior Center implemented a new way for visitors to check-in and sign up for events and activities by scanning a key fob, given to those who sign up as members, at the computerized kiosk located in the lobby of the center. It is called Senior Space.

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Volunteer worker, Sharon Vanderweyst (right), instructs a guest of the Alexandria Senior Center on how to check in to activities with the new Senior Space kiosk. (Thalen Zimmerman / Echo Press)
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New technology is helping things run more smoothly at the Alexandria Senior Center.

"Senior Space is a quick and easy check-in system that allows members, guests, workers, and volunteers to check-in," said Nancy Haggenmiller, executive director of the Alexandria Senior Center, via a computerized kiosk near the entrance inside the Alexandria Senior Center .

Those who sign up as members are assigned a key fob to swipe under the scanner to check-in and sign-up for one or multiple events happening that day. Events and activities are also displayed on the check-in monitor. "It (Senior Space) will also notify a member if their membership requires renewal," Haggenmiller added. Guests and visitors or members who forgot their fobs can check-in using their name and phone number. Members can also sign in and register for events from their ‘smart’ phone or home computer.

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According to the Senior Center’s newsletter, the new system helps organize the Senior Center’s data, membership, and events. It helps free up valuable staff time to focus on the Senior Center’s mission. There are no more sign-up sheets for the front desk staff to manage. The system keeps track of everyone who checks in that day and what activities they attended. Senior Space also allows volunteers to check-in and keep track of their hours, which helps with attendance reports and grant requests.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Senior Space was beneficial in helping with COVID contact tracing. Suppose someone who visited the center were to test positive for COVID. In that case, the staff could see who they came into contact with and inform them about possible exposure.

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To date, the center has given out over 348 fobs to members of the center.

The center is looking to add a pre-paid system where members and non-members can purchase credits and use them to pay for activities and events. Members and guests can still use other forms of payments at the front desk on the day of attendance.

This new system has been adopted in other senior centers and churches in the area.

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The new check-in kiosk, called Senior Space, displays the events and activities available for the day. (Thalen Zimmerman / Echo Press)

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Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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