Local Senior Centers
04/26/2012 05:24AM ● Published by Style
Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
To be a senior in our area is a wonderful thing.
We are blessed to have so many senior programs that can help you make the most of your golden years. As the saying goes: “It’s important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle,” and there is no better place than a senior center to engage, play, learn and grow. Whether you need information on medical issues, taxes, want to explore our area’s history, take day/weekend trips, need a support group, want to become an “armchair” traveler, or need help understanding Medicare, our area’s senior centers offer something for everyone. All you have to do is go.
PLACERVILLE/SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Star Walker is the program coordinator for the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency. The county has two senior nutrition centers – one in Placerville and the other in South Lake Tahoe – that offer a wide variety of senior services. AARP classes are available to anyone ages 50 and up. However, to qualify to participate in their extensive senior nutrition program, you must be at least 60 years old. Lunches are available on-site, and they have a large network of volunteers that deliver close to 500 meals daily. “We have an amazing staff, both paid and volunteer,” Walker explains, “that help implement the program and make it work.”
Along with healthy meals, the nutrition centers also host classes, services and programs designed with seniors in mind. YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a free telephone reassurance service that is offered daily. A volunteer calls in the morning and if you don’t answer, a person you designate is immediately notified; the program has been credited for saving lives of those who become incapacitated during the night. In addition, there are fun, timely and informational classes, volunteer-led day or weekend trips to popular destinations, and a support group for caregivers.
EL DORADO HILLS
Janet Kenneweg, recreation supervisor for the Ramona “Moni” Gilmore Senior Center, located in El Dorado Hills, loves her job. “There is something new and different everyday,” she shares. She wants seniors to get out of the house and get interested in the myriad of educational and fun classes and programs that are available.
Nearly 40 volunteers oversee dozens of free classes, from one-on-one computer courses to guitar lessons. There are also fee-based programs taught by experts and local professionals, but the Center works hard to keep costs affordable. These classes are varied and include cooking all types of cuisine, learning how to play the ukulele, getting to know your digital camera, and more. Also available are individual appointments with a local lawyer that help with various senior issues. In addition, Mercy Hospital Auxiliary volunteers offer blood pressure checks twice a month, a Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy program for Medicare beneficiaries help seniors understand and get through the maze of this government program, and volunteers make sure tax returns are prepared correctly and on time during tax season. For everyone ages 50-plus, the Center ensures a great time.