The first goal of the Belgrade Senior Center has been to increase membership and participation in activities by developing new innovative programs that promote successful and healthy aging and independent living: thereby reducing isolation, loneliness, malnutrition and depression in rural communities. Our second goal has been to promote wellness, friendship and socialization, thereby maintaining and fostering the independence of the individuals which in turn keeps vulnerable older adults out of assisted living and nursing homes as long as possible.
Why our services are needed-
According to the US Census, 35% of Belgrade seniors live alone and the average Social Security Income in Belgrade is $15,778/year. In addition to meals both congregate and delivered Meals on Wheels, the Belgrade Senior Center (BSC) provides daily activities such as yoga, movement and balance classes, bingo, walking classes, and several types of card games that support all Belgrade seniors by offering access to social interaction whereby improving mental and physical health.
The median household income for a Belgrade senior is not much higher than the Social Security income at only $29,219. As the demand for the services offered by Belgrade Senior Center increases and with the rate of funding lagging behind this demand, our center is in need of financial support for operational expenses.
About 3 million baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) will hit retirement age every year for about the next 20 years. The effects of having to care for such a large group will be felt in many areas, therefore the need for the BSC to continue offering services, programs, meals, exercise classes and social support is greater now than in past years.
Belgrade Senior Center members where asked "Why is the Belgrade Senior Center valuable to you?" And "Why do you keep coming?" These are a few responses:
"As a member of only 3 years you need to know the Belgrade Senior Center has saved my life. I was sinking into a deep depression and volunteering and coming to events has saved my life."
"I come to yoga because I have Parkinson's and it keeps me flexible. It's convenient, I can afford it and would not feel comfortable going to any other yoga class in town."
"When my husband died several years ago I came to volunteer because I needed something to do. I am 82 years and I am as old as dirt. I need the camaraderie, the intermingling and I like the exercise classes. If it wasn't for Belgrade Senior Center I would be sitting at home all by myself. Coming here helps my outlook on life."
"I like the hugs. Some weeks you are the only person that took the time to talk to me and you light up my whole week."
Belgrade Senior Center exists to promote friendship and serve individuals aged 50 and over living in the Belgrade area with nutritional, social, recreational, health and educational services.