If you're retired and haven't visited your local senior center, it's time you did. Senior centers are often lively places that bring together older adults who want to be engaged in their communities and with their peers.
Senior centers provide the services older adults need to be healthy, happy and as independent as they can be. More than 10 million Americans take part in activities through the 15,000 senior centers around the country.
What does a senior center have to offer you?
Senior centers offer a wide range of services and activities for older adults. At most senior centers, you can:
- Have a meal. No one likes to eat alone. Most senior centers serve a low-cost or free noon meal where you can enjoy the company of others. Many also have Meals on Wheels programs that deliver hot meals to homebound seniors.
- Make friends. One of the main benefits of senior centers is the chance to connect with other people. Nine out of 10 seniors report that they've made close friendships at their senior center and that these friends are an important source of support and encouragement.
- Get fit. Fitness programs are a mainstay of senior centers. Staying strong and limber is important as you age. Many centers have a variety of fitness offerings, such as yoga, tai-chi and low-impact aerobics. Always check with your doctor before you increase your activity level or start a new exercise program.
- Take a class. Give yourself a new challenge or brush up old skills. You might learn how to use a computer, take a driver refresher course, learn folk dancing or take an art history course.
- Be creative. Many centers offer a range of arts and crafts programs. You could learn needlepoint, paint ceramics or do woodworking.
- Get a ride. Senior centers may offer a van service that can take you to the center, shopping or the doctor's office.
- Get help. Most centers offer free services such as legal advice, blood pressure checks or help with Medicaid or insurance forms.
- Have fun. Many centers have recreation areas where you can play pool, have a bridge game or shoot some hoops. Senior centers host events such as holiday parties, casino nights and dances.
- Help out. You're never too old to be a volunteer. Volunteering is a way to share your experience and give back to your community. You might become a foster grandparent, knit hats for cancer patients or help others with the tax forms.
With all these opportunities waiting for you, why stay home alone?
How can I find my local senior center?
- Check your phonebook. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Senior Citizens' Services," or look up "Order Sildenafil" in the business pages.
- Call the Eldercare Locator toll-free at 800-677-1116, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern time).