The Benefits of Senior Centers

July 28, 2014
Senior centers provide opportunity for fun and conversation.

Senior centers provide opportunity for fun and conversation.

Senior centers are more important and livelier today than ever. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA) , there are some 11,400 senior centers across the United States, serving more than 1,000,000 senior citizens every day.

Has your elderly loved one visited a local senior center? If not, it may be worth a trip. A good senior center can be valuable both for the senior citizen who benefits from his or her time at the center and for the caregiver who finds him- or herself with some much-needed free time to run errands, clean house, catch up on work, or just relax.

Many seniors make a trip to a senior center a regular part of their routine: the NCOA reports that 75% of senior center participants visit a center one to three times per week. The length of a typical visit is more than three hours.

Here are just a few of the reasons that your older loved one should consider taking a jaunt to a nearby senior center:

  • It’s social. Too often, seniors feel a sense of isolation, especially if mobility is something of an issue for them. Making regular trips to a senior center enables a loved one to meet new people, have social interactions, and engage in active conversations.
  • It’s active. Senior centers often have physical activities that are specially geared to seniors of all ages and abilities. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is one of the challenges associated with aging, and these activities can be a big help in that department.
  • It’s healthy. The NCOA states that studies show that participation in senior center programs may help delay the onset of chronic diseases and and may improve overall health.
  • It’s mental. Being exposed to new faces and new ideas helps to keep a person more mentally agile and active.
  • It’s fun. Perhaps most important of all, going to a senior center helps to add fun into a person’s routine – which puts him or her in a better mood both before and after visits.

There are more than 11,000 senior centers across the country, so most people have access to at least one center within a reasonable distance. Look online or in the yellow pages to find senior centers or senior programs at community centers near you.

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

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