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What’s Going on Down at the Senior Centers?
All across the country, there are senior centers. In big cities and small towns, various services and programs are available for seniors to meet, eat, socialize, learn, and have fun.
These programs take various forms, use different facilities, and have different funding sources.
Still, each has something to offer the senior citizens in their communities. There is also something available for you and your loved one.
Suppose you, the caregiver, would like your loved one to have a nutritious meal with others, have educational opportunities or exercise, or just find a friend.
In that case, there’s a place that has you in mind.
Here’s a look at just a few centers in my area and the variety of services there.
In small towns, often at local church meeting halls or a local fraternal club’s hall, seniors meet a few times a week to have lunch, socialize, play cards, or hear a speaker.
This kind of small program is usually funded by a city with help from the local area agency on aging or the county health and human services department.
The seniors there can drive themselves or get a ride with a friend. They are mobile, even if in a wheelchair, and live independently. They can take care of their personal care themselves.
The seniors often volunteer to help in the community, such as by manning a booth at a city event. There is no cost to attend the senior citizens’ Center.
The senior centers in Ferris, Texas, is a small-town example of such a center, with the cooking done by director Sammye Wickliffe for a group of about 20 local folks who visit over lunch three times a week downtown.
If your loved one would like to make friends and enjoy a nutritious meal and social time, this senior citizens’ Center would fit the bill perfectly.
Near downtown Dallas, the Brady Center is another type of senior citizen center.
The Center serves a particular demographic population and language group. It provides various health and social services to low-income elderly.
It is run by Catholic Charities and caters to the Hispanic population. The Brady Center offers daily programs and social services from 8:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday.
Breakfast and lunch are served daily. Seniors aged 60 and over are provided with resources, information and education, social support, and access to medical care.
Bilingual presentations are given on nutrition, physical wellness, fraud awareness, personal safety, managing diabetes, financial education, adult literacy, citizenship, community resources, and other topics.
Gerontology counselors, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, dentists, and nutritionists provide free services on-site. Transportation is provided within a radius of the Center.
There may be a religious-based center dedicated to helping seniors who share a common language or faith in your area. Or, if you are also looking for a center where health screenings and social service referrals are available, then a full-service center that emphasizes health education might be a great help to your loved one.
Some colleges have opened their doors to seniors’ centers on campus. Mountain View College is a Dallas County Community College District college that hosts the Emeritus Center for adults 60 years and older on its campus.
Operating in cooperation with the county Health and Human Services department, the Center offers seniors the opportunity to be active learners with other seniors on campus using college facilities.
Educational opportunities, social service information and referral, and free transportation to and from the Center within a certain distance are provided.
The college students have opportunities to present plays, choir performances, and musical performances to the group.
The college students and faculty members benefit by interacting with the seniors for projects such as oral history projects, opinion surveys, or other presentations.
A college campus is a great place to be daily for the independent senior who desires to be active and informed.
Most senior centers are run by local or county government agencies such as the county health department.
They are free to those living in the area. Some senior centers may charge for a membership to attend the Center, or they may charge to attend their classes or events.
Others are especially for those who share a common culture, language, faith, or low income.
There are charitable organizations, religious groups, and fraternal organizations that serve and help seniors in groups.
If you don’t know if there are senior centers in your area, you could ask the local area agency on aging, the health department, or your Chamber of Commerce.
What’s going on at the senior centers?
Lots of good stuff!
Wherever it is, there’s bound to be friendly faces, good food and conversation, and lots of opportunities for having a good day!
Caregivers, consider what services you could find at your local seniors’ Center for your loved one.