Whether you are enjoying retirement or still working, senior centers are fast becoming the “it” places to go for seniors. A senior center is a non-profit or for-profit community center where individuals who are 50 years or older can go to enjoy many things including wellness programs. Although you may consider the major benefit of senior centers is getting away from the social media- and text-obsessed younger generation, there are some other benefits as well.
1. Staying Social
Whether you are living alone or with family, senior centers allow you to stay socially active. Even when you’re living with someone, it is easy to isolate yourself away from people. Senior centers are definitely a way to enjoy much of what life has to offer. You will meet new people and participate in community events. There are plenty of educational and arts programs to participate in:
- Volunteer opportunities.
- Recreational activities.
- Programs that offer information and assistance.
- Civic engagement opportunities.
- Exercise classes.
- Art classes.
- Social club meetings.
Don’t worry. If your kids are begging to join you at your senior center, there are some intergenerational programs they can attend.
Going to a senior center is a way to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in your area. This can be a big help during election time when you want to know more than what the local media is saying about a candidate. In addition, you can just go there to talk and socialize with other people whether they are other senior members or staff.
3. Financial Advantage
This benefit is probably not discussed a lot because people don't usually discuss their finances unless they have to. If you are on a tight budget due to paying for your medication or other bills, you don’t have to choose medicine over food. Senior centers are usually open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or later. This means you can stop by during breakfast, lunch or dinner for a low cost or sometimes even free meal.
Services offered depends on the specific senior center. However, a majority of the centers offer services like:
- Public benefits counseling.
- Transportation services.
- Employment assistance.
- Nutrition programs.
- Meal programs.
5. Improved Emotional Health
Sometimes when you’re at home without anything to do, you start thinking about the past or feeling useless. What can make things worse is your family’s good intentions. Maybe your children nag you about getting out of the house. Maybe they think you should move into an assisted living community. Their good intentions can make you feel even worse. With so much to do at your local social center, you will experience a vast improvement in your emotional health.
6. Staying Healthy
Why pay for a fitness center or gym when you can have a more affordable and enjoyable time at a senior center? Senior centers offer a great way to stay healthy because of the wide range of fitness and exercise programs they offer. Each program is tailored to meet your fitness level and abilities.
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), research shows that older adults who go to senior centers learn to delay and manage the development of chronic disease. In addition, they experience an improvement in their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, social and economic wellbeing. So join your peers and enjoy what senior centers have to offer. You’ll definitely find more benefits than listed here.