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Senior Center: A celebration of life

Ray County Senior Center provides socialization, meals, activities and education

Ten seniors came to Ray County Senior Center on a recent Wednesday to learn some new dance moves. Pictured from left are: Ramah Gray, Betty Edgar, Karen Brown, Susan Peńa, Jerry Sandstrom, Susan Rose, Virgil Barchers and Carol Barchers (far right). Not pictured are Dottie Calvert and Mary Outersky. Line dancing is just one of the many activities available for seniors to participate in at the Senor Center. (Photo by Liz Johnson/Richmond News)

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer

As humans, we all value our independence. That doesn’t change after we reach a certain age. We want our independence and to live a full and active life as long as humanly possible.

Senior centers and the programs they offer facilitate the social, emotional and physical well-being of independent senior citizens by providing access to a variety of community resources and activities to assist seniors in maintaining a complete balance of wellness.

According to the National Council on Aging, senior centers have become a community focal point for seniors to gather and are “one of the mostly widely used services among America’s older adults. Today, nearly 11,000 senior centers serve 1 million older adults every day.”

Ray County Senior Center, located at the Eagleton Center, 1015 West Royle St., Richmond, is one such center that offers a number of programs for our local seniors.

Regular programs at the Senior Center

The center offers activities throughout the week to provide fun and stimulation for seniors. Some of the activities include:

Bingo: Played daily after lunch, the game usually begins around 11:30 a.m.

Ceramics class: Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. in the downstairs area of the Eagleton Center. See the Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, edition of Living 50-Plus for information on the ceramics class.

Line dancing: Wednesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. These folks have a blast learning new dance moves and grooving to the music each week. A video of the group line dancing  can be found on the Richmond News’ Facebook page.

Exercise: Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. Exercise instructors will guide seniors through safe and gentle exercise routines. Plus, the center has a treadmill and weights available Monday through Friday for seniors to use.

Ray County Health Nurse: Second and fourth Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

USDA Commodities: These are distributed every third Wednesday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Commodities are an income-based food pantry. Seniors can see director Pat Mills to see if they qualify for this program.

Senior Box: This program is for seniors age 60 and up. It’s an income-based program in which a senior is assessed and qualified through Mills for the program. The box includes two boxes of cereal, four vegetables, four fruit, a protein, a grain, milk and a block of cheese. This is distributed once a month and begins the fourth Wednesday.

“The number of seniors coming to the senior center has dropped off,” said Pat Mills, director of the center. “Baby Boomers are still working well into their 60s and older.”

Despite that statistic, seniors have so much available to them at the senior center that it is worthwhile to investigate the programs to find a good fit. From the educational programs, to lunches, information and assistance, volunteer and civic opportunities – there’s something for everyone.

Mills said she is open to new ideas for activities and programs to implement and welcomes all suggestions.

The complete story is in the Living 50-Plus section of the Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 Richmond News.

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