Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Taking pride in the Senior Center

As someone who has been professionally connected to the Lynn Senior Center during much of my 35-year tenure at Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) and as a city taxpayer, I feel it is important to correct serious misinformation circulated in recent weeks about the Center and the work that is done there.  

GLSS takes great pride — as we have for more than 40 years — in the rich variety of programming we have consistently offered to residents age 60 and older at the Lynn Senior Center, a modern, light-filled space rented by the City and located within our headquarters building at 8 Silsbee St. Currently, the Center is open and staffed Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Center serves an affordable hot lunch every weekday that is not only nutritious but also offers an opportunity for people to socialize. It also offers countless opportunities for people to explore a wide variety of interests and activities, such as dance and art classes; playing games like Wii, Bingo, and billiards; using our computer room to check email or surf the net; watching movies; and much more. The Center also has many clubs where residents can connect with, and share in, activities with others who enjoy sports, billiards, knitting — you name it. We even have a Ukulele Club that meets and makes music together every week. 

Many activities have a strong emphasis on promoting the health and well-being of older adults.  We offer a number of different exercise and weight-loss programs to meet individual needs. Twice a week, nurses are available to check blood pressure and answer questions, and falls specialists work one-on-one and in groups to help participants improve strength, balance, and mobility. This is thanks to a unique program provided by GLSS called The Kiosk for Living Well™.  

I doubt there is any other senior center in our area that offers these important health services to vulnerable senior citizens on this scale or frequency. This fall and winter, we will provide three free flu clinics. By appointment, people can visit our on-site hair salon or see a licensed podiatrist, who comes to the Center regularly.

There are also regular opportunities for seniors to participate in low- and moderately-priced trips to a variety of destinations, like Foxwoods — and coming up this month — the Topsfield Fair.  We also offer seasonal events, such as the annual “Turkey Shoot” in November, where participants can win gift cards and prizes, and an annual holiday party, with a live band and dancing, in December, which is sold out every year. These are just a few of the events and activities happening in the next couple of months, and this kind of robust programming is offered all year round at the Lynn Senior Center.

Above and beyond all of this, staff and volunteers participate in the monthly Brown Bag Project, in conjunction with the Greater Boston Food Bank, distributing hundreds of bags of healthy food and produce to low-income seniors. For many years, the Lynn Senior Center has been the distribution source for Farmers’ Market Coupons, one more way we provide for the nutritional needs of low-income seniors in our community.  

I invite anyone to stop by and see for themselves how much the Lynn Senior Center has to offer.  I will be happy to give you a tour and provide an overview of the many exciting activities and helpful programs we make available to older adults in Lynn every weekday. 

 

Marilyn A. Long

Director of Community Programs,

 Greater Lynn Senior Services

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