Davie seniors celebrate life

Published 9:53 am Thursday, October 15, 2015

September was Senior Center Month and Davie County Senior Services celebrated all month.

The national theme was “Celebrate LIFE at Your Senior Center,” focusing on learning, independence, friends and energy. Older adults in Davie County found all of those things during the many events and activities scheduled in September.

Learning. There is never a shortage of new things to learn at Senior Services and September was no exception. In addition to ongoing art classes and computer training, there were educational seminars, including learning how to keep teeth healthy on Sept. 2; and discovering the importance of a healthy breakfast on Sept. 14. Both of these seminars were held at the Farmington site. Bryce Hanes from Novant Health spoke at the Mocksville site about men’s health on Sept. 22.   

Independence. Staying involved and active are the first steps in maintaining independence. Beyond that there are many other things to do. Participants learned about “Aging in Place – Making Your Home Safer” on Sept. 17.  Trainers Terry and Carolyn Smith shared tips about simple things to help people remain in their homes longer. For those who need a little help to maintain their independence, Senior Services offers services to older adults to offer a helping hand when needed. Services such as homebound meals and the family caregiver support program can provide the extra help that one might need to be able to live independently a little longer.

Friends. Meeting old friends and making new ones are some of the main reasons many participate in activities at Davie County Senior Services. Did you know that senior center participants have higher levels of social interaction and life satisfaction than their peers?

Each morning you will find a group socializing and drinking coffee after working out in the fitness room. Many participants from the line dancing class get together on weekends to attend events where they can show off what they have learned in class.

In September there were special events that offered older adults the opportunity to socialize with their friends. On Sept. 3 Davie Place sponsored bingo. Julia Howard was the speaker at the Senior Lunch Sept. 11. She talked about the latest happenings in Raleigh then stayed to answer questions and concerns. Participants got their creative energy flowing at the tie dyed t-shirt craft Sept. 18. Stephanie Walker led the group in creating multi-colored shirts.  Participants got a chance to wear those shirts on Sept. 30 at the 70’s Disco Party, a fun way to wrap up Senior Center Month with disco music and dancing.

Energy. If you think a senior center is a quiet, dull place where older people just sit around and talk quietly to one another you have clearly not been to Davie County Senior Services.

“The energy is the building is electric and contagious,” said Kim Shuskey, director.

There are numerous fitness classes to help older adults maintain all that energy. From aerobics to line dancing, yoga to tai chi, there is a fitness class to match all levels of ability. In September a partnership with the YMCA was started to offer water aerobics classes to senior center participants, which was a success.  In addition to the classes, Senior Services has a fitness room where those 55 and older can come to work out among their peers.

“Senior Center Month was a great time to highlight all of the wonderful things offered at Davie County Senior Services,” Shuskey said. “In addition it was a great time to fundraise for all of the programs and services offered. Senior Services was fortunate to have wonderful sponsors for Senior Center Month.”

The biggest fundraiser of the year, Taste of the Town, was held. Local restaurants brought food and attendees were able to sample tastes for the small price of an admission ticket and tasting tickets. A raffle was held for a $500 gift card.  More than $8,200 was raised during the Senior Center Month celebrations to allow Senior Services to continue to offer the programs and services to older adults, their families and caregivers.

Over the years, money raised by fundraising has been used to supplement grant funds received for homebound meals, the Ensure nutritional supplement program and the family caregiver support program, allowing Senior Services to serve every client who needed the services without waiting lists. Those funds have also been used to purchase needed equipment such as replacing fitness room equipment and purchasing a van to use on day trips.

“Just because Senior Center Month is over doesn’t mean all of the fun is over as well,” Shuskey said. “If you are 55 or older, check out Davie County Senior Services to find the activity that matches your interest.”

Visit the main office at the Bobby H. Knight Senior Services Building, 278 Meroney St., Mocksville to get information and membership forms. Or visit the Farmington site in the Farmington Community Center, 1723 Farmington Road, Mocksville. Access the newsletter, membership forms and other information at  www.daviecountync.gov/seniorservices.