Bloomfield Township - December 2022
How do you define vitality? Energetic, good physical strength, mental rigor, full of life, functional ability, power to endure, live and grow – what about a meaningful or purposeful existence? There really is no wrong answer. Regardless of outside circumstances or current health status, we all can invest in our vitality, however defined. Our mission – Enrich Lives, Support Independence and Build Community – produces vital living.
Our state-of-the-art senior center is designed for active adults. This unique community focal point is known for strong customer satisfaction and a welcoming atmosphere for three generations. Active customers include people in their 50's through their 90's and 50 percent – or about 20,000 township residents are eligible. Over 15,000 people have been involved in programs or services since we opened in 2009. Attendance peaked at 70,000 visits in 2019; with rebuilding underway since the pandemic, attendance is on pace to hit 30,000 visits for 2022. Growth is also demonstrated by 30 new customers each month.
The center includes a warm water pool, indoor walking track, fitness studio, fitness equipment and multipurpose spaces for enrichment and social programs. Over 50 fitness programs are offered weekly as a la carte choices. It may be yoga, stretch, dance, mind-body, aerobics, core, mobility, balance, seated, small group or individual personal training and aquatics. Many programs have virtual options, too. The benefits of exercise are broad and impact emotions, cognition and future abilities. Let’s be honest, to keep moving, you have to keep moving.
Enrichment entails presentations, day trips, clubs and special events. Unique topics cover literature, nature, history, travel, art and science. Day travelers visit the DIA, DSO, regional theaters, museums, galleries, as well as farmers’ markets, botanical gardens and unique sites like the National Weather Station and Federal Reserve. Engagement in any of the 45 programs occurring monthly strengthens social connections and learning while building community.
Services like transportation to the center and medical appointments, Grab & Go Meals or Meals on Wheels, Minor Home Repair, Friendly Caller and Support Groups contribute to independence, health and safety. In 2019, we responded to 26,000 requests for supportive services that gave people greater ability to remain in their own homes – a clear preference for most. We are striving to regain that peak service goal in the near future.
We are uniquely funded as township departments go, with the Senior Service millage covering 52 percent of operations. Earned income such as program fees, service co-pays, grants, donations and sponsorships account for the balance. Styled like an enterprise fund, your participation is essential to our service levels and financial stability. People benefitting from programs and services contribute over and above their taxes unless they have financial need. Of note, we are deeply grateful for the support showed by 15,999 residents in affirming our millage on November 8, 2022. We are committed to turning that support into vital living.
We invite to you visit, call or find more information on https://bit.ly/BTSeniorServicesServices.
Wellness is influenced by social connections, engaging your brain and moving your body. Only the fortunate have the privilege of aging. Let’s do it well.
Christine Tvaraha is Director of Senior Services for Bloomfield Township