Retired but not retiring? Looking for an outlet for your creative energy or just a welcoming place to relax and play cards with new friends?
Perhaps you're interested in learning more about the Internet, and how to send e-mails to your grandchildren. These are a fraction of the activities offered at the Tyvola Senior Center.
The center is one of four Charlotte-area facilities operated by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Senior Centers, a nonprofit that has been serving area seniors since 1984. Publicly and privately funded, the Senior Centers serve those 55 years and older and their families by providing opportunities and services that range from health and wellness programs, nutrition and educational support to social activities including crafts, dancing and cards.
The 20,000-square-foot center is a beehive of activity that offers something for just about everyone. A check of one recent week's calendar showed bridge, computer and arthritis classes, Jazzercise, movies, canasta and ballroom dancing. Members also can avail themselves of the center's state-of-the-art health suite. Stair climbers, treadmills and free weights are just part of the equipment on hand. Therapeutic massage is available, as well as blood pressure checks and other health-focused activities.
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Daily hot lunches are available for members for $2.
Center director Judy Clemons said the Tyvola Center is the area's largest, with more than 2,000 members. Clemons estimated that upwards of 100 members visit per day.
Annual membership fees are $45 per individual and $80 per couple. Many center activities, including access to the health suite, are covered by the annual fee. Some classes and activities are offered at a nominal charge to cover materials and other expenses.
Focused and possessing a strong passion for serving seniors, Clemons coordinates all center activities with a part-time staffer and the support of more than two dozen volunteers. Earlier this year, Clemons organized the first-ever trip for Senior Center members who traveled to China. The sojourn was so well received that another overseas trip is planned for Italy early next year.
John and Janet Bertrand, ages 66 and 65 respectively, of Charlotte are active center members. They relocated to Charlotte from New York three years ago. Janet's daughter referred them to the center, and they have been members for the past 18 months.
They take advantage of ballroom dancing, nutrition programs and exercise in the health suite three times per week. “We think the center is a great place for seniors and are so glad to have discovered it,” says Janet.