Senior Centers: Masters of Aging

by Denise Rucker-Burton , Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services Program Administrator (Office on Aging)
Group of seniors with lifejackets on and canoes in background

Senior citizen in lifejacket canoeing

Senior citizen rock climbing

Senior citizens cooking in kitchen

Senior citizens playing raquetball

Group of senior citizens
By: Denise Rucker-Burton, Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services Program Administrator (Office on Aging)

September is National Senior Center Month. Sponsored by the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC), Senior Center Month provides 30 full days for our local centers to highlight their great work, and their senior center members. This year, the Division of Senior and Adult Services joins NISC in celebrating Senior Center Month, by highlighting the national theme: Senior Centers: Masters of Aging.

Aging masterfully is a core ideal of what many older adults wish to achieve at senior centers. Whether through fitness classes, social activities, the NISC’s Aging Mastery Program®, or a vast variety of other programs, senior centers continue to be the experts in their communities on aging.

At the Solon Senior Center, in Solon, Ohio, many senior center members have reached Master of Aging status, and attribute much of their success to the opportunities available at the center. In addition, offering meals, transportation and adult development activities, Solon Senior Center members also participate in the Digital Mosaic Initiative that provides storytelling, vocal, drama and dance programming. With over 50 additional activities to choose from each week, many of Solon’s seniors are also fitness buffs, lifelong learners, artists and volunteers. Senior Center activities include:

  • Book Discussions
  • Bingo
  • Card Games
  • Line Dancing
  • Jewelry Making
  • Barre Classes  
  • TRX
  • Hiking
  • Yoga
  • Pickle-Ball
  • Canoe/Kayak Trips
  • Ziplining  

  • According to the center’s Director, Jill Frankel, Solon Senior Center also offers supportive community living programs such as: Communities Assisting Residential Elders (C.A.R.E.), transportation, consultations with a licensed social worker, nutrition support (Mobile Pantry, “Sacks for Seniors” and a Senior Produce Market).  Many of Solon’s older persons are also assisted in their homes, and receive other community services such as snow plowing, rubbish pick-up, and yard maintenance.

    The Division of Senior and Adult Services celebrates Solon Senior Center, and all of Cuyahoga County’s other 58 senior centers and programs as they lead their communities and inspire individuals to master this phase of life. At their senior center, Cuyahoga County elders find programs and resources that inspire them to make the most of their time. Community leaders often turn to senior center professionals, their local masters of aging, to facilitate improved services and positively address changing demographic challenges and opportunities.

    If you’re still looking for options on how you can master aging, then join us the Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services’ Division of Senior and Adult Services, and the MetroHealth System for our 23rd Annual Conference on Aging. This year’s theme is: 21st Century Aging: Emerging Issues and Barriers to Care” on Friday, October 6, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Mayfield Village, Ohio. Speaker for the event include:

    • John Corlett, President and Executive Director of the Center for Community Solutions. He will address the public policy case for eliminating barriers and access to care.
    • Sharona Hoffman, JD, LLM, SJD, Health Law Expert, CWRU Professor and Author of Aging with a Plan: How a Little Thought Today Can Vastly Improve Your Tomorrow. Based on solid research, useful facts and through case stories, professional and personal insight, Attorney Hoffman will share important practical life planning advice for professionals and family members who care for older adults.

    Other topics include: “Risks Associated with Opioid Use in the Aging Population”; “Eliminating Barriers: Health Disparities and Solutions for African-American Elders”; “Health Literacy and the Navigator Program”; and Eliminating Barriers: Families, Caregiving and Community Support Systems”.

    The Cuyahoga County Conference on Aging brings together over 250 professionals in the field of gerontology each year to facilitate communication, networking and collaboration, as well as to highlight the most innovative organizations and committee gerontology professionals. We also welcome volunteers, advocates and lay caregivers to join us for this engaging and information-filled day. Registration is $65 and includes continental breakfast, lunch and CEU credits. Retired Cuyahoga County residents, age 65 and older may register and attend the conference for $25.

    For more information, or to register please call the DSAS Office on Aging Hotline at 216-698-2562, or at the following link:  

    We salute our senior centers as you continue to cultivate masters of aging in Cuyahoga County!