Click here to see the official proclamation: September Senior Center Month Proclamation
The Chatham County Board of Commissioners has joined communities across the state and nation in designating September as Senior Center Month. As Commissioner Chairman Jim Crawford noted in the proclamation, “We urge all residents of Chatham County to take time this month to discover the offerings of Chatham’s two outstanding Senior Centers and the Chatham County Council on Aging. We are proud that Chatham has two State-designated Senior Centers of Excellence, and we hope all will explore ways to further support their work.”
The 2016 national theme for this special month is “Find Balance at Your Center.” This theme reflects the wide array of opportunities offered at Chatham’s two Centers for residents all across the county.
As Lindsay Hickling, coordinator of the Eastern Center in Pittsboro, notes: “Our programs include senior meals, exercise classes (including arthritis exercise), Tai Chi, Mah Jongg, line dancing, quilting, needlework, field trips, falls prevention and other educational classes. Faye Tillman, coordinator of the Western Center in Siler City, added “Participants of our Centers also enjoy walking and travel groups, Friday night dances, basket weaving and photography groups, fitness rooms, as well as Senior Games and Silver Arts—and recently we started a choral group. With the support of Carolina Meadows, we also now have computer tablets for use by those attending our Centers.”
This is just a sampling of what is available through the Council on Aging. Other services range from health insurance/Medicare and tax assistance counseling, information about community resources, help with learning about long-term care services, respite and support groups for family caregivers, help with transportation to medical appointments, in-home personal care, and Meals-on-Wheels.
“What makes much of this possible is the great support from our large corps of volunteers,” said Rhonda Hampton, the Council’s Volunteer Coordinator.
To learn more about the Centers’ programs and to explore ways to volunteer and otherwise support the work of the Council on Aging, you can visit or call the Centers. The Eastern Chatham Senior Center is in Pittsboro at 365 Highway 87 N, next to the Community Library and Community College campus. The Western Chatham Senior Center in Siler City is located at 112 Village Lake Road in Siler City. Their respective phone numbers are 919-542-4512 and 919-742-3975. You can also visit the Council’s website at www.chathamcoa.org to learn about programs, activities and special events by accessing the calendar under the Activities tab.
Clearly, there is much to enjoy and gain from becoming associated with Chatham’s Senior Centers.
Join us on the courts behind the Sheriff’s office at 9am on Tuesday mornings. Loaner paddles and balls and instruction will be provided.
Ann Kissell with Senior Tar Heel Legislature came to visit and talk to us in our Western Chatham Senior Center. She talks to seniors about project care, medicare, medicaid, more funding for senior day care and other senior-related topics. She encouraged the seniors to email and call their representatives and to let their voices be heard and to be sure to vote!
Sunday, May 22, 2016 at the First Baptist United Methodist Church in Siler City
Mindy Brown is a long-time volunteer at the Western Chatham Senior Center in Siler City. She runs numerous Meals-on-Wheels routes many times per week in addition to facilitating a newly formed book club. From our volunteer coordinator, Rhonda Hampton:
“Mindy has the special gift of knowing how to let people know they are cared about and that they are important. In addition to bringing the MOW meals, she also takes time to sit down and talk and share with each client. While in their homes, she asks if there is anything she can do for them. Examples of things Mindy does regularly for seniors while she delivers meals are taking out garbage, getting mail and small chores. True to her nature, Mindy takes time to build personal relationships and becomes friends with the seniors on her route. Knowing that she may be the only person the senior sees all day, she uses her meal delivery as a time to spread smiles and help the seniors stay in touch with their community. An hour a day when thought of as a single event may not seem to be a long amount of time, but put that hour a day, two to three times a week, each week for a year and more, touching the lives of 6-8 people with each delivery—and the magnitude of Mindy’s bi-weekly hour of giving can only be seen as a truly extraordinary example of volunteering for her community and as a true blessing to the house-bound seniors on her route.”
We will be ramping up our Health & Wellness Discussion Group! This will be an informal platform for Chatham County folks over 50 years of age to gather with people of similar interests and discuss everything from healthy lifestyle, juicing, natural cosmetics, health problems, natural therapies, to the environment, self sufficiency, meditation and anything else important to living a healthy and productive life.
The group meets the 3rd Friday of every month at 2pm.
To sign up or for more information please contact Alan at 919-542-4512 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The parking lot at our Eastern Chatham Senior Center in Pittsboro is undergoing great change! The good news is we had it completely repaved and the new lines were painted to mark the parking spaces. The bad news is we had to remove the existing red maple trees that “were diseased and dying from ‘gloomy scale’, a serious and extremely difficult to control insect pest of maples,” said Charlotte Glenn, Chatham County Agent for the NC Cooperative Extension. A tulip poplar and a redbud also had to be removed due to physical damage to the bark of the trunks.
Stephanie Lilly of Audobon Tree Service is mapping out the tree locations available for sponsorship. Audobon also helped us by grinding the stumps of the old trees. We want to plant a tree and shrubs in each of the six parking lot islands.
With your sponsorship of $600, we can purchase and plant a tree and shrubs in our parking lot. You will not only have the joy of helping us rejuvenate our landscaping, but we will place a permanent plaque by the tree with your name or your business name, or with the name of someone you wish to honor or remember. Please contact Melanie Girard at email@example.com for more information or to sponsor. Don’t delay, there are only six islands open for sponsorship.
I am pleased to announce that Melanie (Mel) Girard will be serving as the Council on Aging’s Development & Communications Director. Mel has a long history of service to the Council and Chatham seniors and this opportunity will allow us to further benefit from her rich experience and many skills.
Mel has been an active member of the Chatham community since 1993, and has been associated with the Council on Aging since 2013 when she became a Meals-on-Wheels volunteer. She subsequently helped coordinate the Council’s medical transportation service and served as interim Volunteer Coordinator. Most recently, Mel has helped organize the Council’s use of a grant from the Home Depot Foundation to assist older veterans needing minor home repairs.
While Mel will continue as a local real estate broker, she has assured me that her work with the Council will certainly be her passion and primary focus.
In her time with the Council, Mel has consistently shown herself to be someone who is highly motivated, a quick study, honest, diplomatic, an effective communicator, a team player, well organized, and eager to help seniors and their families. Her positive attitude and ‘can-do’ spirit are contagious.
Mel is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Her commitment to aging and human services was evident early on when she volunteered to assist the Charles House Adult Day Care program in Chapel Hill in 1998. She also served as a volunteer for UNC hospice.
In Mel’s words, “I wholeheartedly believe in the Council’s mission. I am going to think “out of the box” and look for many different opportunities to help the Council achieve its objectives and remain a respected and effective force for serving and engaging our growing older population.”
Please join me in welcoming Mel to this new role with the Council on Aging.