The City of Berkeley’s Aging Services Division is dedicated to promoting a dignified, healthy quality of life for older adults by advocating for vital services, providing opportunities to develop meaningful fellowship, offering lifelong learning activities, recognizing the continued and varied accomplishments of older adults, and being an accessible and trusted community resource. As a participant in the Senior Center programs, you can help the Senior Center provide a warm, welcoming and safe environment by treating others with respect, and following the Codes of Conduct and General Facility Rules listed below.
Community Codes of Conduct and General Facility Rules
Senior Center Community Codes of Conduct
- Treat everyone with respect.
- The use of abusive, intimidating, threatening, or harassing language is not allowed.
- Fighting, physical abuse, challenging others to fight, destroying or damaging property and other disruptive, intimidating or harassing behaviors are prohibited.
- Alcohol or illegal drugs may not be brought to the Senior Centers or Senior Center grounds.
- Persons under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will be asked to leave the Senior Center.
- Weapons of any kind are not permitted on the premises.
- Senior Centers do not provide sleeping accommodations. Lying outstretched or sleeping on the furniture or the floor is not allowed.
- Shoes and clothing must be worn at all times.
- Participants exuding odors that are so strong and pervasive as to interfere with the ability of City staff to perform their jobs or the ability of other members of the public to participate in Senior Center activities, whether due to personal hygiene, excessive perfume, or other reasons, may be required to leave the building.
- No solicitation or sales of goods or services by an individual, participant or group are allowed. Under no circumstances may individual participants ask staff or other participants for money. If a participant is experiencing financial hardship, please check with staff for social service assistance.
- Participants who cause an unreasonably loud noise that is so disturbing or annoying that it interferes with the ability of City staff to perform their jobs or of members of the public to participate in Senior Center activities may be asked to leave the building.
- Damage, destruction or theft of Center or personal property is not allowed.
General Facility Rules
- Participants must complete a registration form and stop at the reception desk and scan card/sign at each visit.
- Participants are not allowed in staff areas (kitchen, offices, closets) without staff permission.
- Service Animals (as defined by federal and state law) may enter the Senior Centers and must be restrained and under the supervision of their companion or owner at all times. Animals may not be left unattended outside the Senior Centers.
- Community phone use is limited to local calls (up to five minutes).
- In order to protect and enhance the life of our facility, carpeting and furnishings, food and beverages are allowed only in the multipurpose and dining rooms.
- Restrooms shall not be used for bathing, shaving, or washing clothes.
- Smoking is not permitted within 50 feet from any entry or exit doors, windows and air intake vents of the senior center as mandated by the Berkeley Municipal Code section 12.70.030.
- Personal belongings must not be left unattended.
- Excessive personal belongings are not allowed in the Center or on Center grounds, either with the participant or unattended. Belongings or packages, singly or collectively, must fit under a single seat and cannot obstruct pathways, walkways, or aisles. Entering the Center with containers or packages that singly or collectively exceed 16”x18X24” is not allowed.
- Any minor visiting in the Center must be approved by the Center Director and must be supervised by his/her guardian at all times. Minors who are volunteering must have parental approval and be under the supervision of designated staff or teacher at all times.
- All senior center participants over the age of 55 and under 60 years of age who participate in the lunch program must pay $5.00 per meal and wait until eligible seniors have been served. Volunteering in the lunch program can substitute for payment. See the Center Director for more information.
- Surveys, photographs, or video recording in the Center require prior written permission of the Center Director. Release forms may also be required.
- Blocking or obstructing Center entrances, exits, or walkways with bicycles, walkers, personal belongings, power cords, etc., is not allowed. Bicycles must be locked outside in the bike rack (if available) or in a place that does not block the entrance, any ramp or outside sidewalks, landings and seating areas.
Violation of the Senior Center Community Codes of Conduct or General Facility Rules may result in disciplinary action, including suspension from some or all Senior Center activities. For violation Community Codes of Conduct that protect the safety of participants and staff, immediate suspension from the program may result. Repeated violations of other rules may also result in a suspension.
City of Berkeley Appeals for Denial of Service
The City of Berkeley Senior Centers provide older adults with a variety of services. Participation in Centers includes following Center Community Code of Conduct and General Facility Rules. Failure to follow these rules may result in suspension from participation in Senior Center activities. Participants have the right to appeal any suspension of service.
Right to Appeal Suspensions
Participants who are suspended from the Senior Center will be provided a notice in writing of their suspension and informed of their right to appeal, and an appeal form. Participants must provide a written request to appeal the suspension within seven (7) days of the suspension notice. The participant can use the appeal form provided with the suspension notice. The appeal should be addressed to the Manager of Aging Services, who will review the appeal and provide a written notice to the participant of the result of the appeal within seven (7) days.
If the suspended participant is not satisfied with the result of the appeal with the Manager of Aging Services, he/she may appeal that decision to the Director of the Health, Housing & Community Services Department (HHCS) within seven (7) days of the receipt of the results of the initial appeal. An appeal form will be provided. The Director of the Health, Housing & Community Services Department, or his or her designee, will provide a written response to the participant with the result of the appeal within seven (7) days. The suspension or expulsion will be maintained during the appeal period.
For participants suspended from Senior Center activities, Congregate Meal or Caregiver services only:
If a participant is not satisfied with the HHCS Department Director’s decision, he/she may appeal that decision to the Director of the Alameda County Area Agency on Aging (AAA). The HHCS Department Director will provide a form to facilitate communication with AAA.
City of Berkeley Grievance Policy and Procedures
Suggestions, Complaints or Grievances
The Aging Services Division strives to provide a high quality of programs and services. Participant feedback is welcome and helps us improve.
Participants who have a suggestion, complaint or grievance about the Senior Center’s activities, facility or other program elements, may communicate those concerns by:
- Use the anonymous Suggestion Box located at the front desk of each senior center.
- Speak with the Center Director about concerns.
If the participant feels his/her grievance have not been heard, or are unresolved, he/she may contact the Manager of Aging Services. The Manager of Aging Services will review the suggestion, complaint or grievance, and will provide a written response within 30 days.
If the participant is not satisfied with the Manager of Aging Service’s review of the grievance, a form will be provided so that he/she may have his/her grievance reviewed by the Director of Health, Housing & Community Services. The HHCS Director will review the grievance and provide a written response to the participant within 30 days.
If the grievance is related to Senior Center activities or Congregate Meal or Caregiver Services and the participant is not satisfied with the HHCS Director’s review of the grievance, the participant may submit an appeal to the Director of the Alameda County Area Agency on Aging. A form will be provided to the participant with the HHCS Director’s written response.
Participant privacy is important. As part of the review process, only information relevant to the appeal may be released without the participant’s consent.