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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Support Your Local Senior Center

What does it take to help our island’s seniors live the best lives they can? It all depends.
People are different. Some are social, others are more solitary, and it should not be surprising that those tendencies can last a lifetime. But for those seniors who congregate at St. John’s two senior centers, there have been lots of good days.
Good times, good friendships, good food daily for lunch. The record shows that seniors’ centers have been a good thing for many who began attending when centers first opened in the 1980’s.
Nationwide experts say one million seniors get active, get social and get fed at 11,400 senior centers, attending an average of one to three days a week.
It has especially been good for those who have fewer means as they get older because those experts say attending senior programs provides a greater sense of wellbeing.
They also get connected to programs and services geared for them, Everything from photo id cards, Medicare updates, flu vaccines, and transportation.
But as many institutions are in this day and age, senior programs are changing. So are the people they serve.
Greater longevity and consistent quality of life are delivering millions of Baby Boomers into the ranks of the aging. They are expected to work longer, enjoy more physical activity and seek continuing education.
Those who study trends among the aging also expect to see a growing disparity among seniors of differing income levels.
There will also be a greater likelihood of facing challenges that come with aging. More people face some form of disability. Some care for parents in their eighties and nineties.
Plugging into the local network of senior communities and senior services can help them all.
Maintaining quality of life, promoting good health and reducing isolation are still key to helping seniors live their best lives.
These are standards that affect everyone as they grow older, regardless of their walk of life.
Support your local senior center. Help keep communities connected to those who paved their way.

Judith Freeman-Shimel
Executive Director, St. Ursula’s Multipurpose Center

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