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Senior Centers Inc.: Navigate the Challenges of Growing Older

There are many challenges that come with getting older, not only physical difficulties, but also mental and emotional hurdles as well. Senior Centers Inc., located in East Toledo at 2308 Jefferson Ave., can help you to overcome those obstacles with a myriad of programs for Lucas County seniors.

Combating food insecurity for seniors

Shelly McCoy Grissom, the agency’s executive director, identified food insecurity as a rising problem for seniors. The organization works to combat the problem with several programs to provide food, at no-cost, to area seniors.  “One of our more popular programs is daily lunch for seniors, age 60 or older. (The service is) available Monday through Friday . . . at no cost,  but donations are accepted,” Grissom added.

The organization also provides a box of shelf-stable food, once a month, to seniors enrolled in the program. Currently, 120 area seniors receive a box each month from the organization. There is also a food-pantry on site where seniors can acquire food as needed.

Helping around the house

Light housekeeping services are part of a very popular program, Grissom explains,  “(The service is) for seniors who live in Lucas County who are low income and don’t have family members who are able to help them do light housework, like sweeping, vacuuming, doing dishes, etc. That is an extremely popular program, with a waitlist. Right now we’re helping about 35 seniors, however if funding wasn’t an issue, we probably could help about 150 seniors with that service.”

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Senior Centers Inc. program called Care Coordination helps seniors navigate legal issues, including applying for available financial assistance, such as reduced bus fare or energy assistance, along with other financial issues. The Supportive Service program helps seniors navigate the new world of technology. 

“We help anyone who’s age 60 or older who comes to us and says, ‘Hey, I have a problem.’ And if we can’t help them here at the Center, we have a large network (of resources for referrals) and we connect seniors with other social service organizations,” Grissom said.

Companionship and sharing

Isolation is a common problem for many and Senior Centers Inc. connects area seniors with other community members.  The AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent Program, a federal program accessed by Senior Centers Inc., connects low-income seniors with students in the community. Seniors volunteer to work in Toledo Public Schools, daycares and community centers, assisting at-risk students for 10 to 30 hours a week.

Social experiences

Senior Centers Inc. also offers activities on site to keep seniors active and socially engaged as they grow older, including movie days, guest speakers, cardio classes, art classes and more. The Center includes a sewing room, computer lab, ceramic room and a billiards table. For a complete list of monthly activities, visit the Senior Centers, Inc. on Facebook

Senior Centers, Inc. will celebrate its 50 year anniversary in June 2024 with plans to continue assisting seniors as they navigate growing older. “Just because you may be retiring or getting older doesn’t mean that your usefulness is gone. That is not the case at all. And so we try very hard to promote that,” Grissom said. “(Aging) is just a different phase of life. You may have to make some modifications, but we’ll help you do that and become comfortable and, hopefully, live a very long and healthy life.”

To become involved or to volunteer, call Shelly at 419-242-9511 or visit seniorcentersinc.org

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