Senior adults in Alexander County are continuing to discover the benefits of the Alexander Senior Center, as participation numbers continue to rise month after month. In February 2019, a total of 1,926 visits were recorded at the three centers, which is up from 1,698 visits in January.
Christine Gates, Director of the Alexander Senior Center, is excited that so many residents are taking advantage of the resources, programs, and events available at the centers. “We love our senior adults here in Alexander County, and strive to provide meaningful, relevant, and fun things for them to do,” Gates stated. “One of the major programs we offer is assistance with Medicare drug expenses, which saved local residents more than $1 million in 2018. But we encourage folks to participate in the many programs that we offer, or to just visit and spend time together in a fun, enriching environment.” Gates and Kristy Hunt, Assistant Director, presented the Medicare drug savings report at the January meeting of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners. Prior to 2018, the largest savings totaled approximately $516,000. Gates attributes a portion of the increased participation with the opening of two satellite centers – one in Bethlehem at Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church (9379 NC Hwy. 127), and one in Stony Point beside the new branch library (431 Ruritan Park Road). Participation has also increased at the main branch in Taylorsville (730 7th Street SW, off Liledoun Road). “We’re excited to be able to branch out to our senior population in these communities,” Gates said. “It makes it more convenient for our patrons who may not want to or be able to travel to the main branch in Taylorsville.”What kind of activities are offered at the Alexander Senior Center? They offer a variety of fitness and health classes, such as Tai Chi, yoga, and walking; dance; decorative painting; games such as cards, board games, and Bingo; woodcarving; needlework; greeting card making; birthday lunches; AARP tax help; and of course Medicare drug expense assistance.
Commission Chairman Jeff Peal said he is happy to see that the Alexander Senior Center continues to grow as a valuable resource for local seniors. “The senior center provides exceptional services to our senior adults, and it’s exciting to see these services being utilized by our citizens,” Peal said. “As people age, it’s essential to have a place to gather and fellowship with one another, while also receiving assistance with health, finances, and much more. I applaud our staff for their dedication and their love of our senior population.”
Hours at the main branch of the Alexander Senior Center are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Hours at the Bethlehem branch are Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hours at the Stony Point branch are Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Alexander Senior Center is open to local residents who are age 60 or better; however, younger spouses can participate, too. AARP members over age 50 are also welcome.
For more information, visit www.alexandercountync.gov/senior-center or call (828) 632-1717.