Orange Senior Center - Nov / Dec 19
The team at Orange Senior Center includes Case Manager Tarah Rzeznik, Executive Director Katherine Connaghan, Director of Operations Gretchen Snyder, and Transportation Coordinator Susan Jeffrey. The center also relies on volunteers to help with more than 50 programs and services it offers, especially the largest one, the home-delivered meals program.
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Something always seems to be happening at the Orange Senior Center. And that’s no surprise, given the 50-plus programs and services available there.
“This is a gathering place for seniors to enjoy the company of people in their same generation, their peers,” says Katherine Connaghan, the Executive Director. “Older adults are in great need to get out of their four walls, and here we offer a variety of programs that stimulate them socially and spiritually and also help meet their health needs.”
Activities include dancing to live music, fitness and exercise classes, and games such as bridge and pinochle.
Rita Kellerman, who recently celebrated her 93rd birthday, has been coming to the Orange Senior Center for 20 years. She was first attracted by the opportunity to play bingo. Now, she runs the shop—affectionately named Rita’s Boutique—that sells donated clothes, household goods and other items. Proceeds benefit the Senior Center.
“Everybody seems to get along, and they have a good time,” says Kellerman, adding that 35-40 people play bingo on any given day, with many of them staying for lunch.
In all, about 80 seniors come to the center for that hot noontime meal, Monday-Friday. And, if a house-bound senior can’t make it, no problem—nutritious food delivery options are available.
“We have a small staff, and there are more than 50 volunteers who are really important for maintaining the home-delivered meals program,” Connaghan says. “Many of those volunteers are recently retired, have the day off, or they do it during their lunch hour.
“Some seniors can no longer drive or fix a meal for themselves,” she adds, “so overcoming those barriers to good nutrition are important for their health and well-being.”
Orange Senior Center is not only for seniors. Connaghan says it’s also a valuable resource for adults with older parents who need information about Alzheimer’s or other dementia issues, medical alert bracelets, Medicare and many other topics.
“I like to think of this place as an olive branch, reaching out to those in need and helping them through a time in their lives when they may feel overwhelmed or are looking for information,” she says. “There are plenty of misconceptions and stereotypes regarding senior centers, but with one visit to see the social programs and resources we have, you’ll get a different idea of
Orange Senior Center
170 South Olive St, Old Towne Orange CA 92866 / 714-538-9633
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