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Senior Centers are Refocusing on Vibrant Living

As Baby Boomers age, senior centers refocus

Walt Disney once said, “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” Today, as nearly 76 million baby boomers come into retirement age, these are truly words to live by.

Senior centers are adapting to baby boomers’ needs by refocusing their events programming away from bingo and chair yoga and towards activities that help promote holistic wellness. They are also recognizing how innovative technologies can help them create more vibrancy and wellbeing for seniors.

More fun and vibrant living through overall wellness

Senior centers give older adults an excellent opportunity to socialize and keep both their minds and bodies active. Mental exercise activities, such as trivia or brainteasers, are used at centers like “The Senior Center” in Charlottesville, VA as a way to stimulate seniors’ brains. Other activities, like Zumba and salsa dancing, are focused on getting seniors up and active. The “Center for Balanced Living” in New York City even offers seniors one-on-one wellness coaching to help them find balance in life.

One senior center that has set a fine example for all others is “Mather’s – More Than A Café” in Chicago. It offers seniors a space to interact with friends and family of all ages as well as exclusive rights to classes and events for those over the age of 55. These kinds of senior centers offer older adults a sense of purpose and community which helps them stay engaged and living life to the fullest well beyond retirement. Where else could seniors learn a new language, sing to their heart’s content, and watch live musical performances? Some centers even organize field trips and host events like “Senior Olympics”, using a Wii to simulate different sports.

New technology enables shift towards holistic wellness

Seniors can now take courses to learn everything from Facebook and LinkedIn to Skype and Stitch (a dating site for older adults). This allows them to do everything from keeping in touch with relatives across the country to feeling more connected to the world as a whole. Technology is becoming increasingly user-friendly, so people of all ages can take advantage of it.

Older adults can also take advantage of new technologies that help them engage more with the world around them. For example, at Eversound, we are helping seniors experience life at full volume. Our wireless headphone system, designed specifically for seniors, is used in all kinds of group settings–from educational presentations and movies to group discussions and yoga classes.

As technology becomes increasingly integrated into all of our lives, senior centers can improve wellbeing for older adults by helping them take full advantage of these new innovations. It is important that we enable seniors to feel confident in their ability to adapt to the changing world around them.

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