WINFIELD — Area senior centers are keeping busy with many activities for seniors. Winfield is no exception. They have recently taken a trip to Amish country in Ethridge, Tenn., held ceramics classes and as always, there are many activities at the community center where they meet.
Winfield Senior Center Director Susan O’Mary wants to let the public know about the Winfield Senior Center, what they can offer to those seniors and that they are always looking for volunteers.
“The senior center is thriving in-house,” O’Mary explained. “Here at our center, we have done a Swamp John’s (dinner) for a fundraiser, and we sold about 500 plates...People come in to play rook, cards. It’s not unusual for me to leave with two tables of rook going in the afternoon. We’re still welcoming people into the centers. Every senior center is this way.”
In addition to the activities at the senior center, the center’s team delivers meals to the aged in the Winfield area. The Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments Executive Director Keith Jones added the number of these meals are approximately 70. Even though no more can be added to this list currently, any senior over 60 can still come to the center to eat. Jones explains the reason no more can be added was due to funding being cut.
“Despite budgetary limitations caused by the ending of emergency COVID funding, the Winfield Nutrition Center continues to grow and serve the needs of seniors,” Jones stated. “In conjunction with NACOLG’s Area Agency on Aging, Center Manager Susan O’Mary and her team provide approximately 70 congregate and home-delivered meals per day in the Winfield area.”
The lack of funds has been exacerbated by the rise in the cost of food for the meals. O’Mary said the price of meals have increased from $2 to about $5 currently.
Jones continued to explain about other activities the Winfield Senior Center is offering.
“The center underwent extensive renovation in 2022, and began offering new activities such as ceramics and Bingocize-a health promotion which mixes physical therapy exercises with bingo to increase mobility, strength, balance and agility. Manager O’Mary also coordinates trips, games and other fun activities to promote participation at the center.”
“NACOLG is encouraging all they can to grow and get our in-house programs where they need to be,” O’Mary said.
She mentioned her goal is to take over a larger room in another part of the community center.
Anyone can join in and be a part of the center, O’Mary said. The only requirement is the person has to be 60 years old or older to eat. She said the crafts portion or just to come in to play cards is open to the public. Volunteers are also welcome at the center.
“We’ve even had students from the high school (volunteer),” she said. “Usually in the summer, I have kids from the school. They get volunteer hours, they’ll help me in the center, they’ll ride and help give out meals.” O’Mary added volunteers can get these community service hours with the senior center but can also get them through the Ivan K. Hill Park at the community center.
“There are plenty of ways to get volunteer hours here.”
Senior center participant Sandy Ward enjoys the center.
“I enjoy coming, and we have good fellowship here,” she said. “I bring my sister-in-law, and she enjoys meeting the people, and we have great activities. The food is pretty good, and we have a lot of fun with the different activities we do.”
“Sandy even comes to our public ceramic class,” O’Mary added. Some of the activities mentioned included painting a flower pot and planting tomatoes in five-gallon buckets with Extension Agent Jayne Luetzow from Morgan County. With the flower pot, marigolds were obtained from the school’s greenhouse and planted in the painted pot for them to take home.
Exercising is also an important part of the senior center.
“We’ve been doing bingocize,” O’Mary said. “It’s a program developed by Western Kentucky University. It’s basically chair exercises. There’s a lot of getting up and down.
“We always do a morning walk,” she said, though the “walk” is exercising in place. “We have stress balls and the bands too. It’s a nice program, and they have enjoyed that so much.”
NACOLG covers senior centers in Marion, Winston, Franklin, Colbert and Lauderdale counties.
The senior center is located within the community center at 400 Community Street in Winfield. They are open five days per week and are closed most major holidays. Contact O’Mary at the senior center for more information at 205-487-3552.
See complete story in the Journal Record.