“The aging of the U.S. population is one of the major public health challenges we face in the 21st century. One of CDC’s highest priorities as the nation’s health protection agency is to increase the number of older adults who live longer, high-quality, productive, and independent lives.”
– Julie Louise Gerberding, MD, MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Aging—Not a Fringe Issue
It happens to all of us, if we’re fortunate. And as longer life spans combine with the aging of the huge boomer generation, it has become one of the most significant issues facing us today, affecting everything from social services on a national level to family care giving. Health care, housing, transportation, work force … nothing is immune.
In the Charlottesville area, where seniors already comprise 14% of the population, we are halfway through a 25-year period projected to bring a 104% increase in this demographic.
Addressing the needs of this growing population is vital to the health of our entire community.
Healthy Aging Fosters Healthy Communities
New research consistently shows how physical, social, and intellectual programs can enhance wellness and promote independence, an issue critical to our country’s aging population.
Our Center is at the forefront of multi-dimensional programming proven to promote healthy aging. Here, people of all ages can pursue lifelong learning; maintain physical wellness; explore creativity and spirituality; stay socially connected through travel and recreational opportunities; and remain purposefully engaged through volunteering.
By helping individuals stay active and engaged, encouraging them to do for themselves and for each other, we are developing a positive vision for aging. And as seniors continue to be an asset for their families and community—contributing time, wisdom, and experience—we all benefit.
More than 8,000 individuals pass through the doors of the Senior Center every year, many of them for programs such as the Virginia Festival of the Book, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute classes, AARP presentations, Senior Statesmen of Virginia forums, and scores of other events.
As a center for education, recreation, and fun, we serve our community in many capacities.
Valuable partnerships with a variety of local organizations—like Charlottesville Parks & Recreation Services, UVA’s Adult Neurology Department, ACAC, and others—help support our mission by making programs and services more accessible to all.
In FY2015, the Center contributed the equivalent of more than $100,000 worth of space to more than 20 local nonprofits. From the Virginia Consort to the Hearing Loss Association of America and the Charlottesville Camera Club to Essential Tremor Support Group, many organizations receive support from the Center through discounted or waived rental fees.
Since its founding in 1960, the Center has been a resource for our entire community—not just seniors—by providing volunteers and help with service projects for other nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity, Hospice of the Piedmont, MACAA, and dozens more. Through our volunteer program, almost 500 Senior Center members annually contribute more than 50,000 hours of service (valued at almost $1 million), improving their own lives and making a positive difference to people of every age.