Senior Centers Deliver Vital Connections for Older Adults

Madison, WI (September 2022) —Today’s senior centers are delivering vital connections to help all older adults age well. Senior centers offer a vibrant, action-packed combination of programs that support maintaining high cognitive & physical functioning, avoiding disease & disability, and boosting engagement with life. These are the three pillars of successful aging as described by Rowe and Kahn in their book, "Successful Aging."

During the pandemic, senior centers pivoted to provide online programing and essential resources that promote healthy aging. This included exercise classes, self-care presentations and pen pal programs. September is National Senior Center Month, and Madison Senior Center is celebrating these shared experiences that strengthen community connections for older adults.

One of the programs that came out of the pandemic, received rave reviews, and continues in its virtual format. Voices of Color is a virtual program hosted by Melvin Hinton. You may know Melvin from the Radio Literature show he has on WORT. Every month Mr. Hinton has engaging conversations with community leaders who are also People of Color. They tell stories that speak to cultural differences, and to experiencing events in Madison differently just because of their skin color. This month Melvin will talking with O. Tracey Williams, the Director of Pupil Services for the Verona School District. Voices of Color is on the third Thursday of the month at 10:00 am. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

From art classes to free health screenings, Madison Senior Center is a community hub where older adults find friendship, meaning, and purpose. To share the power of these connections, Madison Senior Center is celebrating Senior Center Month, with our annual Summer Picnic from 4-6 pm on Friday, September 16. This event will include live music by the Sunshine Sisters and M-Trane, delicious food, and outdoor games. If you plan on attending, the fee is $5, and you must be 55 or older. Register through the senior center by September 13, 608-266-6581.

Senior Center Month emphasizes the tremendous potential senior centers deliver in their communities, including programming that empowers older adults to holistically age well and strengthen mind, body, spirit, and community connections. Participants are able to stay physically active attending programs such as yoga, cardio dance, line dancing and Ballroom Basics for Balance.They can also take advantage of the annual Health & Resource fair coming up on Tuesday, October 11, 9:00 – 11:30 am.

Older adults experience lifelong learning attending programs presented by community partners such as Stretching Your Grocery Dollar by Humana, Smart Driver by AARP, and monthly Arts & Crafts by Vista West. Volunteers share their expertise and experience as well, running programs like Exploring Poetry, Writing Your Life, “Democracy and Its Alternatives” and Gay, Gray & Beyond.

Everyone is welcome at the Madison Senior Center, and we even have a few classes in Spanish. Humana presents a different health class every month in Spanish, and NewBridge provides a chair dance class taught in Spanish. Starting September 15, we will also be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a program about agriculture in Latin America, and showing a National Geographic series titled “Lost Treasures of the Maya.”

Madison Senior Center also hosts a congregate meal site that is operated by NewBridge, does volunteer placements, offers free programs, and more! To learn more about the Madison Senior Center, call (608) 266-6581 or visit The Madison Senior Center is located at 330 W Mifflin St in Madison