Participant Rules and Guidelines

Our Senior Centers are daytime activity centers where adults age 55 years and older (60 years for the lunch program) can participate in recreation, socialization, and intellectual activities, as well as find a variety of helpful, relevant services. The City of Berkeley Division on Aging is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for our participants, visitors, and staff. To help ensure a supportive setting for all who attend the South and North Berkeley Senior Centers, the following Participant Guidelines and Rules were established: 

General Guidelines 

  1. Please treat others with courtesy and respect. The City of Berkeley’s Senior Centers depend on volunteers and we encourage you to join our volunteer community. 
  2. The Senior Centers do not provide sleeping accommodations. Lying outstretched on furniture or on the floor is not allowed. 
  3. Packages, bags and parcels left in coatrooms (if available) are limited to the size of a standard grocery bag and nothing may be left overnight. The City of Berkeley and the Senior Centers take no responsibility for the security of any articles and are not responsible for damage or theft. 
  4. Should you wish to circulate a petition or survey or take photographs of the Center or participants, please seek the permission of the Senior Center Director. Release forms may be required. (Please refer to sample release forms.) 


  1. Individuals must be able to care for themselves independently while participating in Center activities. Senior Center staff cannot provide personal care and will determine if participants are required to be accompanied by a care attendant while at the Senior Centers. Individuals needing assistance (memory impairment, incontinence, wheelchair user unable to use restroom independently, etc.) may participate in Senior Center activities with the aid of a care attendant. 
  2. The use of derogatory comments, slurs, epithets or language that is abusive, threatening, loud, insulting, or harassing may lead to suspension or expulsion from all three Senior Centers. 
  3. Fighting, physical abuse, challenging others to fight, destroying or damaging property and other disruptive behaviors are prohibited and may lead to suspension or expulsion from all three Centers. The police may be contacted in response to such behavior. 
  4. To protect and enhance the life of our facility, carpeting and furnishings, food and beverages are only allowed in the multipurpose dining rooms. 
  5. Smoking is only permitted outdoors 20 feet away from any entry or exit doors and air intake vents by mandate of the Berkeley Municipal Code section 12.70.030. 
  6. Person’s under-the-influence of illegal drugs or alcohol will be asked to leave the Senior Center. 
  7. No alcohol or illegal drugs may be brought to the Senior Centers. 
  8. No weapons are allowed on or around the premises. 
  9. No solicitation is allowed. 
  10. Under no circumstances are participants or staff to be asked for money. If a participant is experiencing financial hardship, please check with staff for social service assistance. 
  11. Participants should wear shoes and clean clothing. Staff will recommend more frequent bathing and/or incontinence supplies to participants who may be offensive to others. 
  12. Service Animals may enter the Senior Centers and they must be restrained and with their companion or owner at all times. Animals may not be left unattended outside the Senior Centers. 
  13. Lock bicycles outside in the bike rack (if available) or in a place that does not block the entrance or any ramp. 


Violations to any of the rules described above may be grounds for a verbal or written warning, suspension or expulsion depending upon the seriousness of the offense. 

Senior Center participants returning to the Center in violation of the suspension or expulsion order will be asked to leave by Senior Center staff. Should this approach be unsuccessful, public safety personnel (Police) will be called to protect the safety and welfare of staff and participants. 

A suspended or expelled individual will have the right to ask for an appeal through the Aging Services Division Administrator and Health, Housing & Community Services Department Director.  The suspension or expulsion will be maintained during the appeal period.  A copy of the "City of Berkeley Aging Services Division Policy and Procedures for Participant Suggestions, Complaints and Appeal Process for Violations of Center Rules" may be requested.