Kingston: The design of the senior center fails to accomodate an aging population

Even though parking lots for the Kingston Senior Center are located on the sides of the building, the main door faces a drop off entrance—making entry into the building easier for seniors who are shuttled but not so much for those who park.

The facility opened last February but for months there’s been discussion about allowing a side door to be used as an alternate entrance but the door isn’t automatic and most seniors would require assistance. 

Linda Felix, Director of the Kingston Senior Center, says her concern is safety, “There’s so many times that people with walkers, or what have you, get caught up on the door. I’m going to say at least five to six times since we’ve been open that we’ve assisted people through the door.”

Acting Town Administrator Nancy Howlett also points out that the center wasn’t designed to have two entrances so if a senior were to fall it wouldn’t be immediately known to staff.

“Inside the main door where the dispatcher, the greeter, and the director sit are all glass walls and they can see the people coming in and out of the building. The entrance that faces the back parking lot can’t be viewed by the director or anybody without looking down the hallway,” says Howlett

But Howlett calls the side door a ‘user friendly entrance’ that will make entry more convenient for seniors.

Kingston has decided to install a handicap push button in the side door of the senior center so the door can automatically open.

Howlett says that she’s also looking into buying a surveillance camera so the front desk can monitor who is entering and exiting the Kingston Senior Center.

Side door

Side door

Main door/Drop-off entrance

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.