I wanted to visit a senior center to see what it was all about. My 75-year-old neighbor, Janet, is an active participant in the ballroom dancing program at West Cobb Senior Center, so I decided that would be a good place to visit. Janet is a traveler, takes cruises, and collects antique dolls. She is an interesting person, so I feel I can take her recommendation and give it a try.
A lady at the open administrative office spots me looking over the information table and introduces herself as Cristina, the Program Specialist. I let Cristina know I am here to check out the center and meet Janet at the 1 pm dance program. I am early, so Cristina gives me lots of information about the senior center activities.
There are about 18 people sitting around a large conference table in a room across the lobby from where we are talking and Cristina tells me that is a meeting of a book club. Later, I take a walk down the right wing of the building and see two more similar conference rooms with equal amounts of people sitting around the table. These, I find out later, are the Woodcarvers Club and the Shutterbugs Club. In another two rooms, I spot gamers, playing Mah Jongg and Scrabble. Lots of mental stimulation going on today!
Christina tells me the West Cobb Senior Center is an active adult multi-purpose center open to anyone 55 or better. You do not have to live in the county to use the center. They have people ages 55 to 92 using the center. And, it is well used, I must say! Besides the activity in the center, it is located in the Parks and Recreation area with walking trails and ball fields nearby. In addition to dancing, the center has two yoga classes that are fully attended and exercise programs to keep participants physically active.
At the end of the right wing, Cristina tells me to visit the Billiards room, which I do, and see 5 tables in a nicely decorated room. A group of five men is playing pool at one of the tables.
Christina hands me a leaflet that lists all the programs and activities the center is offering for the month and I am astounded at the quality and the number. Wellness seminars, trips, health screenings, and tons of classes! I see they have a trip to Atlanta’s historic Fox Theater planned. These were equal to or better than those offered in the Del Webb Active Adult Communities I have visited. I am impressed!
It’s now 1 pm, so I head down the left wing of the building to a grand ballroom where I hope to see Janet. There are nicely dressed dancers signing in and greeting each other with hugs. It is a nice large comfortable room. A man who must be the greeter comes over and introduces himself and welcomes me. He’s thinking I’m a dancer, but I tell him I was looking for Janet.
On the drive back, I am thinking it sure would be nice to have the West Cobb Senior Center close by me. My impression is way better than I had in mind before making this visit to a senior center. I can see where senior centers could be and are an asset to anyone who uses them, encouraging us to be active both mentally and physically. I am sure not all senior centers are alike and offer as much as this one did. But still, it shows me what is possible and changed my uninformed image!
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Originally published October 13, 2022