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.
- Join a Senior Center to Improve Health (boomersnotbloomers.com)
- Enriching the Lives of Senior Citizens Everyday through “Elderday” (prosightspecialty.com)