SALISBURY — The Council on Aging is a busy place with 697 documented participants, who over the past 12 months have participated in more than 24,500 programs or activities offered.
The busy organization has provided nearly 2,200 rides for local senior citizens who don’t drive and served up nearly 11,280 meals either at the Hilton Center or in conjunction with Merrimack Valley Nutrition’s meals-on-wheels programs for residents in their homes.
Programs are varied and include health screenings — such as blood pressure, hearing and memory — as well as seminars on Medicare, insurance, elder abuse, alternative housing and many other issues that today’s elderly require to live well informed lives.
Computer, writing and art classes are coupled with quilting, knitting, games and cards and all types of exercise sessions offering local seniors a chance to keep active, make new friends and fill up their golden years with fun activities.
“Its important that our seniors know there is always a welcoming place for them, there is no reason to sit home alone,” said COA Director Liz Pettis. “Our Friendly Visitor program is taking off for those who are home bound and would like a visitor. I hope they call us; that’s why we are here.”
And May is a perfect time for local seniors to get involved with Salisbury’s Council on Aging, as May is Older Americans Month, with a motto of “Unleash the power of age.”
“In May, we’re offering lots of free activities and programming,” Pettis said. “During the third week in May, all fitness classes are free.”
May 8 offers a mature drivers continental breakfast, with a car fit program, from noon to 3 p.m., sponsored by Triad. On May 15, at noon, Lorraine LaForge offers karaoke and snacks for those who love to sing.
Those with birthdays in May can enjoy a free birthday lunch, with entertainment, with other May babies at 11:15 a.m. on May 16.
Andover’s Sunset Tappers will dance their hearts out at noon on May 23, combined with an ice cream social.
And author Rose Madeline Mula comes to the Hilton Center at 1 p.m. on May 29 for a Spring Tea. Mula’s work has appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, and her humorous essays appear in books. The afternoon will offer lots of laughs, between sips of tea.
Although reservations are required, all these programs are offered free, Pettis said, thanks to the Mass. Cultural Arts Council, and sponsorship of assorted organizations, like Assisted Living, Maplewood Rehabilitation, Amesbury Village and home health agencies.
“Our center is also participating in the kindness campaign through the Elder Justice Network,” Pettis said. “We have a pledge board asking seniors to sign up and commit to doing random act of kindness, complimenting others, smiling, sharing a table with someone new, sending notes or cards. We hope to inspire our seniors to be thoughtful — paying it forward. Something really small can make a very big difference in someone’s life.”
For more information on Salisbury Council on Aging, call the center at 978-462-2412, or drop in some day and look around.