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3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

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Navarre Medical Plaza
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Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

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Why Go to a Senior Center?


For most of our lives, we think of senior centers as places where other people go. Not us. We do not notice exactly when it happens, but there is a point at which you become one of those people who could go to a senior center. It could be that you are at that stage now and you have not even noticed.

For some, senior centers conjure up an image of a place where a people play cards and shuffle board. That was more true years ago. Today, there is more and more awareness that senior centers need to change with the times. The baby boomers have turned 60, and senior centers are going to have to keep pace with them.

Keep in mind that many of the directors of senior centers are baby boomers themselves. One survey showed that 15 percent of the directors at senior centers were between 60 and 69. Others are on the way to becoming senior themselves soon-73 percent are between ages 40 and 59.

This means that more and more senior centers will make it their goal to appeal to people who want a place to go where they can learn something new, get a decent workout, meet interesting people, take part in programming that is ethnically diverse or even share meals featuring food that baby boomers enjoy.

In fact, professionals in the field are even considering using a term other than "senior center" to reflect the more contemporary nature of so many of the facilities.

Are their health benefits to going to a senior center?

Research has shown that people who regularly go to senior centers:

  • Have healthier behaviors in terms of the foods they eat and the exercise they take part in

  • Have fewer mental health problems, such as depression

  • Have a more positive outlook on life

People who attend senior centers say they believe that the attendance helps them to maintain their independence and to keep them socially connected. Many also say that they enjoy having somewhere to go every day. Senior centers also provide opportunities for their members to take on volunteer work, which can help to empower those who may feel that life after retirement has been lacking in meaning.

Typical program offerings at senior centers

People who go to today's senior centers are likely to find the following types of offerings:

  • Education: This can range from discussing literature to understanding complex Medicare programs to explanations of relevant consumer issues to health promotion.

  • Exercise: Yoga, pilates, t'ai chi, dance…the opportunities for exercise at senior centers are endless.

  • Transportation

  • Meals

Let the center know your thoughts

If you visit a senior center and do not find the offerings interesting, be sure to tell the staff there. They need the input of people like you to make sure their facilities are relevant to the communities they serve.

The National Council on the Aging
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