Walking into Hopkinton’s Senior Center, the sounds of music from eras gone by can heard in the background as each visitor is greeted with a warm welcome and a smile. It’s that friendly yet enthusiastic atmosphere that keeps countless seniors coming back to the center each week and why so many consider it a home away from home.
Studies have shown that an important part of aging well is to ensure seniors are actively engaged. Senior centers are one of the most accessible places in a community that offers older adults the ability to stay active, socialize and obtain certain services available to them.
September is National Senior Center Month and therefore no better time to highlight what the Hopkinton Senior Center offers its visitors, which includes everything from serving meals to sponsoring wellness programs and fun activities, as well as educating seniors on how to age in place.
Each day, the Senior Center serves a continental breakfast and daily lunch with various menu options, as well as a monthly veterans breakfast.
“Our meals are cooked fresh, right in our kitchen by our own chefs,” said Senior Center director Amy Beck.
And don’t think it’s sandwiches on the menu. Quite the opposite. Lunch options for September include shrimp primavera, spaghetti and meatballs, and pot roast.
For those wanting to stay active, there’s a variety of organized exercise programs available each week such as yoga, t’ai chi, walking and Zumba. There also are tap-dancing classes, arts and crafts classes, a quilters and knitting group, a library, and a room to play billiards, among many other activities. There’s even a computer lab run by volunteers, including high school students, who can assist with various technology questions concerning laptops, tablets and even cell phones.
A thrift store at the Senior Center is open to the entire community and full of home décor and other household goods for sale, all for a steal. Items are donated, and proceeds go toward funding several Senior Center programs.
Very importantly, staff at the Senior Center, including outreach workers, are there to answer questions and offer assistance concerning applications for fuel assistance, MassHealth services and tax exemptions for the senior community, as well as other programs.
“We’re a hub of information for seniors and their families, and it doesn’t all have to happen in this building,” Beck said.
Transportation to and from medical appointments (within 30 miles) is provided as well as local shopping excursions on certain days.
Beck says the Senior Center wouldn’t be as successful without its committed staff, volunteers and Friends of the Hopkinton Senior Citizens, a nonprofit group that fundraises for the center. Most recently, the Friends group purchased new furniture to give the lobby a cheery, more updated look.
To celebrate National Senior Center Month and to encourage newcomers to see what the Mayhew Street facility has to offer, an open house is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 18. Throughout the day and early evening, complimentary fitness classes, crafts, a bocce tournament and live entertainment will take place.
“We’re a very vibrant community,” said assistant director Ashley Shaheen. “Why stay home when you can be here, active in the community?”
The Hopkinton Senior Center is located 28 Mayhew St. and has plenty of parking. Hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 508-497-9730 or visit hopkintonma.gov/departments/senior_center.php or the center’s Facebook page.
Senior Center seeks volunteers
There are numerous volunteer opportunities are available at the Senior Center, in particular prep cooks who assist the cook in preparing salads and sandwiches for daily lunch. There also is a need for lunch waitstaff, computer room tutors and greenhouse workers.
Volunteers have the choice to help once a month, every week or every day.
For more information, stop by the Senior Center (28 Mayhew Street) or contact volunteer coordinator Sue Stewart at 508-497-9730, ext. 1618, or firstname.lastname@example.org.