Join an Activity Center
an interview with Debbie Travis
Hi, my name is Debbie Travis, Program Coordinator with the Clinton Township Senior Adult Life Center in Clinton Township, Michigan. Senior centers aren’t what they used to be. In fact, we prefer to be called activity centers because that’s what we are. We’re so bustling with activity. And we offer our members a wide range of opportunities to grow and develop.
The Role of a Activity Center
A lot of people aren’t real keen on the aging process, which is funny because we gain a lot of great treasures as we get older. The things that you get when you walk into a activity centers are bigger than the exercise class, or the card group, or any of the presentations that are going on. It’s the opportunity to build relationships.
That is key in what we do here. And like I say to many people, we have to break the image of what was a senior center, and introduce people to what’s going on behind these walls. Because if you are not involving yourself, putting yourself out there, trying new things, learning new things, building, growing, you’re really missing out. You’re missing out on a wonderful phase of your life.
A New Phase of Life
We struggle with different issues as we get into different phases of our lives. Your children may have moved out of state. Your family is scattered. But when you start sharing some of the concerns that you have in this phase of your life with other people who are your peers, the information that you reap is vital to finding better resources. You start to realize that you’re not alone or there are better options. It’s reassuring to know that you’re not alone and at the same time you can adds an additional layer of fun in your life. It’s fun meeting new people.
The New Activity Centers
I know that the few in my surrounding community that I’ve connected to all have the same mindset that, ‘this ain’t your grandma’s senior center’. We’re all 30 year-old minds in 55 plus year-old bodies. So we still have many of the same interests.
Many Exercise Options Available
Activity centers offer a plethora of different types of exercise classes given your abilities. From chair yoga and all the way up to Zoomba, which is super high intensity. People who do Zoomba are very ambitious exercisers. We also have a fitness room here with all of the equipment you can imagine.
We have ongoing presentations that are delivered all the time from experts in their field. Often these are on cutting edge topics. Things that we really want to know like how to prevent diabetes, what is the best way to do a certain craft, or what’s the latest in new age medicines? What about medical marijuana? How do you determine what’s right, what’s wrong?
How About Some Gardening?
Here is a typical situation: “I can’t get outside in a garden anymore cause I’m living in a condo and I used to love it.”
We heard this conversation from our members. So within a year we had a new community support group to get this garden growing. And now there is a garden club. It is a giant point of pride for our town, Clinton Township.
Our members are getting their hands in the dirt, which you know is therapeutic. We’re producing organic produce for area food pantries. We have such a nice circle of members who are making a difference. And that’s a big goal, to feel valued.
Editor’s Note: gardening is one of the most popular activities after knee replacement surgery. One needs their knee bending well do to this activity well. For more on knee range of motion and learning an active life after knee replacement, click here.
You Probably Want to Join Your Activity Center
For us in Clinton Township, it’s a one time lifetime fee to join our center. For an individual it would be $50. If you’re coming in as a couple, it’s $70 for a lifetime. And then once you’re here you would probably have that paid off within your first year because we offer many discounted activities, and outings. So through their sponsorships we’re able to offset a lot of the costs of things that we do. It’s fantastic to be a member.
Meet People Like You
You’ll see that not only is there something for you, but there are a lot of people who are in your same boat. You remember how easy it was to make friends when we were in school? We’re not in school anymore. But this is the same kind of social dynamic. You’re sitting next to somebody and eventually conversations just spark. Quickly, friendships are made. So please, please, please, do not sit home. Take your local smart bus, or drive, or take an Uber. Get out and get involved with your activity center. There’s a lot of fun to be had out there!
Editor’s Note: A senior activity center may be the very best way to jump back into life after a knee replacement given the breadth of activities. To learn more about centers click here: Best Senior Centers Guide.
To learn more about this wonderful senior activity center, The Clinton Township Senior Adult Life Center, reach out to Debbie.
The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog.” We step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health as with this article on ‘An Active Life After Knee Replacement at an Activity Center’.
In this one-of-a-kind blog we gather together great thinkers, doers, and writers. All our work is related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. This is for you if you have a surgery upcoming, or in the rear-view mirror. Or maybe you just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing
To subscribe to the blog click here.