Depending on where you are located throughout America, there are various levels of activities, locations and resource centers available for the elderly. In Bridgewater for example, a new wellness center was opened for seniors. Set up by the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, this Main Street location was opened at a ceremony that coincided with Older Americans Month. According to Patricia Walsh, the Director of the Freeholders, “With its proximity to the Adult Day Center, the opening of this center completes the vision Somerset County has had for a senior campus that serves the needs of residents as they go through the various stages of aging.” Indeed, this was not just a metaphorical but also a literal statement of fact since the construction of the pedestrian bridge forms a link between the Adult Day Center and the Senior Wellness Center.
Bonne Terre seniors can also enjoy some improvement in their facilities. The current address for the Bonne Terre Nutrition Center and Senior Center is changing due to expansions. According to Jim Eaton, the institution’s City Administration, it will be set up as follows: a nutrition center that will focus exclusively on diet, supplements and food guides and then a separate senior center to manage all other activities. Given that there will be apartments as well, this will provide a great opportunity for the city to use different organizations.
So these are two great examples of where life is good for seniors. Now, if only seniors in Brunswick County were privy to this kind of treatment and resources. Unfortunately though it is not the case. Instead, seniors meet twice a week at the Town Creek Park in a place that is not theirs at all. They may share a meal together and play games but thereafter they have to fold up all the tables and chairs and store them; in fact everything needs to put away, even the kettle! This is more than just frustrating as one of the seniors, Sandra Tyner explained: “We want something of our own so we don’t have to do all this getting out and putting away. We just need a place that we can call home.”
And it’s not for want of trying. Indeed, over the last few months a group of dedicated speakers have been active at county commissioner meetings, politely reminding county leaders they want a senior center in the Bolivia/Town Creek area. Thankfully something finally seems to be moving as a local church recently committed to donating some land for the purpose of building a senior center and now the county is investigating capital funding for a building.
It seems only right that there should be some kind of more equal distribution of resources for the elderly around the country so hopefully within the very near future, the Bolivia/Town Creek area will become more like Somerset County and Bonne Terre.