Aging in Place: October 2023

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Did you know that September was National Senior Center Month? Do you know that Tualatin has a thriving, very active senior center at the Juanita Pohl Center (JPC) in Community Park? 

There is a website for an organization called AGE+ (www.ageplus.org) Communities + Generations + Innovations. In their September newsletter, the following letter was published on the value of senior centers. The author is Scott McKay, former Director of the Mid-Columbia Senior Center in The Dalles.

Friends,

I was the Director of Mid-Columbia Senior Center in The Dalles for fifteen years, and I often heard variations of “You aren’t going to see me at a senior center. They are just for old people, and I can find everything they offer elsewhere.” Whenever I heard this sort of statement, I knew it was my chance to talk about how important and wonderful senior centers are.

  • I can go to the local athletic club – But can you afford it?
  • I can prepare a meal at home – But is it nutritious and eaten with friends?
  • I can find helpful information on the internet – But do you want to sort through the ads and inaccurate information?
  • I can purchase medical equipment – But why when you can borrow equipment for a small donation?
  • I can play cards on a computer – But can you enjoy the company of others?
  • I can meet friends at a coffee shop – But where do you make new friends?

By participating in activities at a senior center, research has shown that compared to their peers, participants have increased overall life satisfaction and experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental, and economic well-being. Additionally, the onset of chronic disease is better managed and delayed. Over 10,000 senior centers nationwide respond to diverse needs and interests in their communities and serve as community focal points for older adults.

I advise everyone to take the time to visit their local senior center and discover what it has to offer. Each one is different, but you’ll always find a place to connect with others, improve your health, enjoy music and games, learn new ideas, and discover your path on this aging journey we call life.

Did you know:

Recognized by the Older Americans Act as a community focal point, senior centers have become one of the most widely used services among America’s older adults.

Senior centers serve as a gateway to the nation’s aging network – connecting 1 million older adults to vital community services.

Senior centers work in partnership with other community agencies, organizations and businesses to provide access to an array of opportunities for older adults to stay safe, active and healthy.

What do you know about the Juanita Pohl Center, where you “Keep Actively Aging”? Personally, I retired 15 years ago, and when I discovered JPC, my life changed. I wasn’t sure what becoming a retiree, older adult, senior citizen, elderly person or whatever name you want to call it would mean. I didn’t feel old, but I also didn’t know what to do with myself. We have all experienced, in some form, the years of raising a family, long careers and activities up to retirement. Then it can all stop! But it doesn’t have to… retirement can be the time to find new paths and outlets, relax, make new friends, and fun and often educational activities. I found all this and more at JPC. 

If you didn’t know, one of the jewels of the Tualatin Community is JPC. Try it out. First, check out their website – it is easy to google “Juanita Pohl Center,” and it pops right up. Click on it to see all the activities, classes, resources, and events JPC offers every day. I know you will find something that suits you. I also know you will like what you discover about JPC and yourself. Their welcome mat is always out, the building managers are always available to introduce you to all that JPC offers, and the other seniors are always ready to extend a hand and say, “Come join us.” JPC has a lot to offer, and I know you do, too. Be ready to share yourself and enjoy the sharing of others. It can make a difference for you, and you can make a difference.

The Juanita Pohl Center is located at 8513 SW Tualatin Road, 503-691-3061. www.TualatinOregon.gov.

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Susan Noack has lived in Tualatin for 15 years. Before retirement, she was a development director/event planner for non-profits. Now as an “Aging in Place” senior, her passion is being an advocate for seniors and giving back to the community. She is a member of both the Meals on Wheels People and Juanita Pohl Center advisory committees and chair the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force committee.