Our national celebration of senior centers began in 1979, with Senior Center Week celebrated in May. The concept gained support of other aging organizations, as well as the full Senate and the House Select Committee on Aging.

Thanks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Aging Task Force, numerous mayoral proclamations celebrated Senior Center Week. In 1985, National Institute of Senior Centers was instrumental in achieving the first Senior Center Week Presidential Proclamation signed by President Ronald Reagan. In 2007, NISC designated the entire month of September as Senior Center Month to give centers greater flexibility in scheduling celebratory events.

Across the country, nearly 11,000 senior centers serve 1 million older adults each day, making them one of the most widely used services among America’s older adults. Senior centers serve as a hub for older adults, connecting them to indispensable services that can help them stay healthy and independent. The federal Older Americans Act recognizes senior centers as a community focal point for older Americans and provides funding for some services, including congregate meals.

Research shows that older adults who participate in senior center programs experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental and economic well-being.

Today’s senior citizens are a far cry from the era of your great-grandparents. As a new generation of older adults looks to redefine retirement, there is a growing focus on wellness, work and volunteerism. When it comes to finding tools for staying healthy and involved or information about benefits, senior centers are the place to start. They help connect older adults with meaningful career and volunteer opportunities and increase their access to valuable benefits and resources to stay healthy and independent.

Finally, given the central role we play in our community, I hope everyone will join me in taking a moment to be thankful for not only our seniors themselves, but also for the great work of our dedicated staff members. They make our facility warm and welcoming to the entire community and make it a great place to spend time.

National Senior Center Month gives us the opportunity to recognize the vital service the Senior Center of Finney County provides to our community. As Garden City Commissioner Troy Unruh stated the other day, “the Senior Center is the best kept secret in town.”


Scheduled activities

Thursday: TOPS, 8:30 a.m.; art class, 10 a.m.; bridge and Skip-Bo, 1 p.m.; Medicare, 1 to 4 p.m. (appointments only); Finney County Committee on Aging, 2:30 p.m.; strength training, 4 p.m.; PIYO (a class that is a cross between Pilates and yoga), 5:15 p.m.; yoga, 6 p.m.

Friday: Line dancing, 8:30 a.m.; a nurse from St. Catherine Hospital is here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; Enhance Fitness, 1 p.m.; bridge, 1:15 p.m.

Saturday: The pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday: Duplicate bridge, 2 p.m.

Monday: Senior center closed.

Tuesday: Walking, 9 a.m.; pitch, 12:30 p.m.; Medicare, 1 to 4 p.m. (appointments only); bridge, 1:15 p.m.; PIYO, 5:15 p.m.; yoga, 6 p.m.

Sept. 5: Line dancing, 8:30 a.m.; Completely Unraveled, 9:30 a.m.; pinochle, 12:30 p.m.; Enhance Fitness, 1 p.m.; dance featuring “Moonshiners,” 7:30 p.m. (recommended donation is $5).


Lunch menu

Thursday: Barbecue chicken breast, baked potatoes with sour cream, corn, fruit.

Friday: Fried jumbo shrimp, mac and cheese, peas, fruit.

Monday: Senior center closed.

Tuesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce, corn, garlic bread, Oreo cookie.

Sept. 5: Teriyaki pork loin, au gratin potatoes, green beans, fruit.


Patti Thummel is the interim executive director of the Senior Center of Finney County and director of Meals on Wheels.