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Your local senior center
Old 08-04-2022, 02:34 PM   #1
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Your local senior center

I am wondering how many people here are active or somewhat active in their local senior center. Many cities have these, or at least a token attempt at having a senior center.

I have to admit my gut impression was one of feeble old folks, all at least 10 years older than whatever age I am, getting on little buses to visit the grocery store once a week, maybe have coffee or tea at a local Starbucks or similar, and crocheting booties for newborns. Or make bird houses if you are a man. OK, that was wrong.

The city shut down the senior center at the start of Covid, and like many government institutions, kept it closed for months past the time when restaurants and other places were opening up. I imagine that was for the safety of the seniors, many of whom are higher risk than I. I had heard about an active photo club, meals, exercise session groups and dances, but these have vanished and not come back. Other than a ladies chat group (which I can't join) not much is going on.

Are senior centers any good anymore? Does anybody still have a good one in their locality?
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:44 PM   #2
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I know we have one but I know nothing about it. However, where my dad lives in MO, they have one and my dad and his DW use it a lot. She uses it for getting together and playing bridge. They both use it for meals a couple times a week (discounted, not free). They always go on fried chicken day. They’ve even dragged me along at times when I was there visiting and the chicken’s pretty good.
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:58 PM   #3
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We usually belong to 2 or 3 senior clubs, a couple of the local city ones and one non-profit. The ones near us are great. They have day trips, travel trips and cruises, classes, and all sorts of sub activity groups like golf, hiking, pickleball, bocce ball, wine tasting and just tons of stuff to do. I'm surprised more members here don't mention being in one. We aren't too active these days because we tend to do more activities now outside the clubs with the friends we made from there, but still attend some of the events.
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:06 PM   #4
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I visited one, once, in the wealthy MD county where I used to live. It was styled an over 55 center. Absolutely everyone I saw, appeared to be well past 70. There was a room with men playing cards, one with women doing very slow aerobics, and that was about it. There was a desk with flyers advertising local nursing homes and dementia care, low-cost lunches, and the like. Finally, paintings done in a senior-center art class were on display. They looked exactly like similar exhibits you've seen in schools.
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:14 PM   #5
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We have one near us. It has a large list of weekly activities at the location. There is a poker group. Different kinds of of other card games, quilting, scrapbooking, ceramics, art, photography, and many more weekly groups. They have different speakers come in with historical lectures, services for estate planning etc. There is also a computer lab a, small library and a pool room. It is a city run center. There is a wide range of people over 60. They have a daily meal you can sit and eat or take to go. The meal service is run by the county. There are different outings that you can go on as well. All in all it has a large variety of activities and isn’t too bad. We attend a few of the activities and occasional get the lunch.
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:53 PM   #6
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We've got senior citizens centers, and they do a big business providing lunches.

The Seniors at our church is also a large bunch. Even though we're seniors and of real retirement age, those seniors at the center and church are so . . . . . . . old.

We're young for our age.
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:09 PM   #7
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But isn't it nice to know that there are communities providing programming, exercise, and meals for people "older than us" who still want programming, exercise, and meals? One thing New Jersey's high taxes buys are fairly well-provided senior centers that seem to get a lot of use. I've never attended anything, but may be tempted this year if they offer their "forever 55" balance class again. I'm doing some trips next year that require some balance, and mine isn't great.
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:14 PM   #8
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We have an excellent Senior Center in my town. A relatively new building with many activity rooms, all kinds of classes, exercise room, farmers market, free lunches, outings, etc. I take ballroom dance lessons there. At age 70 I am one of the younger people in my class but the older folks can dance rings around me.
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:21 PM   #9
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The senior center we have nearby is active. Although itís objectives are broad based, most of the programs and activities are designed for two constituents. One is seniors who live alone and need a place to socialize. The other is seniors with mild or moderate disabilities and need some type of assistance. Seniors with mild dementia, for example can spend the afternoon or even the day while the spouse or caregiver does chores or just gets some time off. Same for seniors with limited mobility.

Most of the people helping are volunteers, and it works well.
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Old 08-04-2022, 06:02 PM   #10
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Our city has a very nice senior center funded primarily by our city with some additional funding from our county council on aging. My wife and I are members but don't participate in the activities but I volunteer three to four days per month by driving one of the transportation busses. We have three or four busses on the road every day transporting members to medical appointments, supermarkets, restaurants, library, shopping or wherever they may want to go. All for $2 per trip! Its a very rewarding volunteer activity as many of these people would not be able to live independently if it weren't for our service.
While the transportation service is utilized at levels at least as great as pre-covid, the other activities in the center are not as well attended as pre-covid.


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Old 08-04-2022, 06:12 PM   #11
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Our city has a very nice senior center funded primarily by our city with some additional funding from our county council on aging. My wife and I are members but don't participate in the activities but I volunteer three to four days per month by driving one of the transportation busses. We have three or four busses on the road every day transporting members to medical appointments, supermarkets, restaurants, library, shopping or wherever they may want to go. All for $2 per trip! Its a very rewarding volunteer activity as many of these people would not be able to live independently if it weren't for our service.
While the transportation service is utilized at levels at least as great as pre-covid, the other activities in the center are not as well attended as pre-covid.


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Old 08-04-2022, 10:24 PM   #12
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There is a senior center in our city that seems to offer quite a bit, but weíre so busy with other things that we havenít made time to check it out yet. Weíre still in our early 60ís so Iím guessing we would be on the very young end of the curve there.
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Old 08-05-2022, 09:48 AM   #13
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We used a room at the local senior center for our TaxAide activities. The patrons I saw using the center were much older than DH & I, and very frail. We didnít think they would be exciting companions.

Once we get settled in the new home I will investigate the nearby senior center. I donít anticipate it being a major part of our socializing, but I would visit occasionally if there is a group to play board games or cards.
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Old 08-05-2022, 10:02 AM   #14
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We have a very active senior center.It was closed during the peak of covid, then was closed for the past year for complete remodel and update and just opened up.
Prior to covid, DH and I would use their exercise room, have lunch 1-2 times a week and I have taken some classes there (yoga, knitting, informative financial seminars).
They have a very active group here with many respite care times for alzheimers families, lots of classes, meals and sponsor Meals on Wheels for the city. They have a travel group that we have yet to explore, but some of the trips look very interesting. They will even have language classes prior to international travel.
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Old 08-05-2022, 10:23 AM   #15
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We have 3 centers within 20 minutes of our home. DW has been more active with them than me. Personally, they only come to mind if (a) the weather is not conducive to my preferred outdoor activities (b) I do not feel like paying for indoor recreation/entertainment options. From my observation we are definitely in the "younger" crowd, and there are definitely fewer males.

The one closest to us is fine. They do have a pool table that I have used. They have an exercise room, but since we belong to a gym I do not use it. You can also get lunch (when has center closes due to the local pandemic "level" they still provide take out) for a contribution of 4$-$5. Some of the meals are okay, some are not for me. Sometimes they have a food truck in place of preparing it themselves, and that tends to be better. They encourage us to sign up for meals, as below a certain order quantity it will not be provided.

They offer board games (mahjong, rummikub, etc.) and movie afternoons with free popcorn, and DW has participated in some of those events. They also offer (for a fee) bus trips to educational/entertainment/recreation venues, but nothing that has gotten me motivated to try.

They do offer classes/seminar at times. I did attend one with DW on basic car maintenance a local shop put together. She has attended knitting classes.

All of the centers have their schedules online. I do check them occasionally, but inconsistently. If they are more open this winter I may look into their provided activities more often.
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Old 08-05-2022, 11:32 AM   #16
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My father (90yo) in another state uses his senior center and it has been very positive for him. He mainly goes once or twice a week for meals and socializing. They have a broad range of activities.

There is one in my neighborhood that was built new about 5 years ago. Very nice building. However, it closed for the pandemic and has never reopened. One woman shows up dutifully every weekday and sits at the reception desk in the locked building...
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Old 08-05-2022, 01:38 PM   #17
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Something I wish senior centers offered: regularly scheduled tech support. My 85 year old friend has perpetual problems with her laptop, which she can barely operate, but is extremely dependent upon. I try to help her, and got her out of a frozen screen situation where she actually called the number she was told to call and only avoided a scam because she's too deaf to understand accented speech over the phone. I noticed the township offered an afternoon of support recently there, but what they need is (at least) 3 half days a week. I'll bet they could even break even by asking people to pay, say $7/month. Desperately needed by the "oldest old."
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Old 08-05-2022, 02:12 PM   #18
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We don't use any of the local senior centers, church or gov't based to any great extent. We've visited a few times but weren't interested in returning with any frequency.

We do enjoy two of the local Irish pubs and a local sports bar. Mid-afternoon, there are usually a number of fellow geezers watching soccer (night games in Europe) or playing cards while enjoying a pint. Lotsa fun.

Our town runs a large, full-service health club (exercise equipment, walking track, weight room, pool, sauna, steam room, the whole catastrophe) and offers some senior exercise classes during the day. We like some of those. I'm not sure if you'd refer to the health club as a "senior center" though.
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Old 08-05-2022, 02:36 PM   #19
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Our town runs a large, full-service (exercise equipment, walking track, weight room, pool, sauna, steam room, the whole catastrophe) and offers some senior classes during the day. We like some of those. I'm not sure if you'd refer to the health club as a "senior center" though.
My previous town, a large, wealthier suburb, had this. I checked my current area (Jackson County, MO, KC area) and the local places had only educational opportunities including tech and current events, and "helping" programs for seniors in need.

I'm not into card or board games or group meals so I doubt I'd be interested in typical activities- maybe pickleball. My friends who live elsewhere LOVE pickleball.
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Old 08-05-2022, 02:56 PM   #20
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My friends who live elsewhere LOVE pickleball.
I might just be missing opportunities, but I haven't seen any pickleball going on here in the Chicago area. The last time I was involved with anything similar, it was racquetball. Very popular at one time around here. (I even got college credit for racquetball at the local junior college. Tuition for the class was less than paying for court time at the local private clubs.) I definitely couldn't tolerate the rapid stop and go of racquetball anymore though.......
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