BY SUE SIENS
Fun and fellowship doesn’t have to stop when we reach our golden years. Maybe you’re living alone, or you never found time to relax and tackle your bucket list. It’s never too late. In Wilson County, and in our neighboring counties… Around The Bend, we are blessed with Senior Centers that remove the age barrier. At every age we all desire friendship, recreation, activities and experiences to enrich our lives. Rockin’ at the centers isn’t about finding a comfy rocking chair. No sir! If you’re up for a challenge, there is a whole new world of experiences waiting for you when you enter your prime…as the ladies of WLM like to call it!
Some of you have always been fit and this isn’t the time to stop, others have never had the time to make exercise part of your daily routine, so what are you waiting for? The various Senior Activity centers in our community have all sorts of dance and exercise classes available; including low impact aerobics, yoga, Zumba, and even tai chi. Maybe you’ve dreamed of traveling, always wanted to create an oil paint masterpiece, or have a desire to learn (or re-learn) to shoot a mean game of pool like you did in your younger days. Or perhaps you’d rather play cards, take guitar lessons or computers classes, surf the Internet, or enjoy a good book. All of this and much more is available at our area Senior Centers.
Lebanon Senior Citizens Center
670 Coles Ferry Pike, Lebanon, (615) 449-4600
Open Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is $3.00, served weekdays. Please call by 10:30 a.m. to make lunch reservation.
Lebanon Senior Citizens Center’s motto, “We Care,” is short and simple, but well describes the love and attention given to its 1,800+ members. Patti Watts, Center director, makes note that, “Our mission is to give purpose and value to the lives of our members. We try to offer a little bit of something and especially friendship. For many of our members, the Center is a lifeline. It’s where they can have something to look forward to each day.”
The Lebanon Center opened in 1979 and moved to its present location in 1988. It is a non-profit organization, with funding from the City of Lebanon, Wilson County, United Way, State of Tennessee, fundraising and private donations. Membership is available for adults age 55+, with a fee of $25 per year. The Center has hundreds of programs, activities and events throughout the year. Being located next door to the Jimmy Floyd Family Center additionally offers the members water exercise and walking programs. The Center’s assistant director and activities director, Teresa Botts, makes sure there is never a dull moment.
Members are currently working on a 6,000-piece puzzle, and they have also established the Unique Boutique with apparel and household items for sale, whose proceeds benefit the Center. (Whew! Are you getting tired yet? These “folks in their prime” are hard to keep up with!)
The Center also focuses on the members’ health and works in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation offering programs to relieve pain and improve mobility, and registered nurse, Tammy Bryan, is on duty at the Center two days a week.
In addition to the regular lunch served each day to more than 100 at the Center, home bound meals are provided daily to more than 100 seniors through the Center’s homebound program and Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency. Volunteers like Rick and Valerie Heronemus, Judy Norton and Randy Carpenter are among the those who deliver meals to the homebound, but more volunteers are needed.
A member of Lebanon’s Center for almost 16 years, Earl Flory, sums it up this way, “I come here for companionship and for the people. I’ve made a lot of friends.” Member Carl Howard mentions that he enjoys coming for “their good coffee and a hot meal.”
Whatever the activity you’re interested in, you will feel welcome when you visit the center.
“We’re like a big family,” remarks Center Director Patti, a family that stays active, busy and knows how to have fun!
Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center
2034 N. Mt. Juliet Rd., Mt. Juliet, (615) 758-9114
Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is provided by Meals on Wheels for $1.50 weekdays, except on Cooking Club Thursdays when it is $5.00. Please call one or two days ahead to make a lunch reservation.
Linda McClanahan, executive director, says Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center’s motto is “Where Friends Meet.” The Center’s mission is to provide a place for senior adults 55+ to gather for recreation, education and social activities, and to alleviate isolation and loneliness among the elderly. Member Lavorn Hill states that, “Thinking about the mission statement, to be around people my own age, and not being alone is why I come here. Regardless of your interests, there is something for you here at the Center.”
The Mt. Juliet Center was founded in 1978, and currently has more than 600 members. It was owned by the City of Mt Juliet for a few years and became a non-profit owned by the members in 1982. The Center is funded by the City of Mt Juliet, Wilson County, United Way, and the State of Tennessee with grants through Greater Nashville Regional Council. Funding is also provided by fundraisers throughout the year and private donations. Membership is $25 annually.
The Center has more than 80 programs, and as Director Linda notes, “It’s a hopping place.” Every inch of the 10,000 square-foot facility is packed with activities. The community is very involved in the Center, and many of the members also serve as volunteers, sharing their talents through the Center’s programs.
There is no shortage of entertainment at the Center. They have their own Over the Hill choir, and the Bravo theater group, who perform throughout the community. Club members also enjoy their annual Festival of Art and Music, a fund-raising event. The Mt. Juliet members love concerts, dancing and parties. Outside, they have horseshoes, and the Serenity Park and herb garden. Mt. Juliet’s Center also provides homebound meals.
Mt. Juliet’s Senior Activity Center has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Member Harry Jester remembers, “I drove by many days, and I didn’t know what was going on in the building. When the Chronicle newspaper ran a story that the Center had pool (billiards) here, I decided to stop in. It’s fun getting to know people, and making new friends.” Says Linda, “Our goal is to reach every senior out there who might be alone.”
Visit our other area Senior Activity Centers:
(For those who need transportation, contact Mid-Cumberland van service at (615) 444-7433 , transportation is available for a small fee)
Cedar Seniors, 226 University Ave. in Lebanon, Telephone (615) 444-0829
Open Monday through Friday for lunch, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch is $3. Please call by 10 a.m. and leave a message to make a lunch reservation.
(Space is limited to 40 persons each day)
Market St. Community Center, 321 E. Market St., Lebanon, Telephone (615) 449-0719
Seniors meet every Wednesday at 11 a.m., bring a covered dish. Contact is Hattie Bryant
Watertown Community Center, 8630 Sparta Pike, Watertown (615) 237-3433
Seniors meet each month, the first Wednesday at 11 a.m., bring a covered dish. Seniors also meet at a local restaurant on the third Wednesday.
Contact Mattie Ricketts at (615) 237-3433 for more information
Macon County Senior Citizens Center, 329 Hwy 52 by-pass east, Lafayette, Telephone (615) 666-3780
Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., lunch served Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Call the week before to make your lunch reservation
Smith County Senior Center, 120 Pauline Gore Way, Suite B, Carthage, Telephone (615) 735-0476
Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., lunch served weekdays. Call the day before to make lunch reservations
Trousdale County Senior Center, 270 Marlene St., Hartsville, Telephone (615) 374-1102
Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (lunch not served)
All of our senior activity centers depend on financial support, inkind donations, and volunteers to offer these wonderful services and programs. Please support the Senior Center in your area and volunteer your time.