BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — The Maumee Senior Center provides seniors with valuable resources and opportunities to engage with others in the community.
“We serve a very important purpose,” said executive director Malinda Ruble. “We help seniors to take care of their mental, physical and spiritual self.”
In order to help seniors take care of themselves, the center provides many services. Within each service, there have been several changes made since the center reopened for in-person activities in June.
Transportation services now include hair or nail appointments, trips to the grocery store or other commitments. Seniors are asked to call in advance to ensure transportation is available on the day it is needed. The center can be reached at (419) 893-1994.
Expanding on its grocery services, the Maumee Senior Center can now help place online grocery orders that are delivered to the seniors’ homes. Those interested in using the service must have their 20-item or less grocery list written down before calling the center to place the order.
Services like this are assisted by the outreach coordinator, Laree Shroyer, who works with seniors and the agencies and businesses they use to see their needs are met.
“She provides supportive services,” Ruble said. “She just helps people. Her job is to connect people with different agencies, work through paperwork and help people apply for things.”
New services also extend to the activities offered to seniors. The program coordinator, Tiffany Peet, has added several new fitness classes to the weekly rotation.
“We have a new lightweight training class on Fridays at 11:15,” Peet said. “We’ve never had anything like that.”
In addition to the lightweight training, new classes for tai chi and cardio drumming have been added. The center also offers several other fitness courses regularly, including Stability, Chair Yoga, Jazzercise Lo and Chair Zumba. Classes range in price, usually up to $5.00. SilverSneakers classes are free for those who retain membership through their insurance. The center offers both in-person and virtual fitness classes to meet the needs of different people.
Two new virtual programs will be offered in February, too. A virtual tour of Owens Community College’s Big Read Exhibit: Social Justice will be offered on Friday, February 18 at 3:00 p.m. and a virtual travel presentation about three Asian cities will take place on Friday, February 25 at 2:00 p.m.
“Virtual is more inclusive, it can reach people who aren’t in Maumee right now or don’t feel safe coming in,” Peet said. “I’m excited for more virtual activities. We’re hoping to get people connected and help figure out the technology.”
One way the center plans to assist seniors with virtual content and provide members with more activity options is to bring more televisions into the center. A range of large and small TVs will be installed throughout the center soon.
“We started virtual programming when COVID hit, so with the new TVs we’ll be able to have people who don’t have enough room in their house to exercise or they don’t feel comfortable with the technology in their home, they can come in person and see a class,” Ruble said. “There will be lots of options. We’re pretty excited about those. Some of them are really big. We’ll be able to have movie nights, too.”
Outside of fitness classes, several groups meet each week to play different games. Peet said they have groups participate in euchre, mahjong, pinochle and other card games. The center also offers a weekly knitting group on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and a monthly book club. Art classes with Mary Jane Erard are also offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon.
“They don’t have to make reservations. They can just come at the date and time of the classes. If they’re new here, they’ll just have to fill out a form,” Peet said. “Everything is outlined in our newsletter, but they can call if they have any questions. They can speak with me specifically about any of our programs.”
The phone number for the center is (419) 893-1994 and newsletters can be found on the website at maumeeseniorcenter.com or at the center.
The newsletter also includes the daily lunch menu. Those interested in the lunches offered at the center can call 24 to 48 hours in advance to reserve their meal.
“We do lunch Monday through Friday, and we have our own in-house chef who prepares everything fresh each day,” Ruble said. “Our meals are amazing. Everybody loves it, and it’s just a suggested $2.50 donation.”
Meals can also be picked up as “grab and go.” The center also offers a monthly evening grab-and-go meal. This month’s will be on Wednesday, March 16 from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. with a suggested donation of $3.50.
To cover the costs of many of its activities and events, the center also hosts fundraisers and offers memberships for $25.00, but you do not have to be a member to take advantage of the activities.
“We do have a soup sale going on right now,” Ruble said. “We’re going to start selling rum cakes. We have a Chipotle Day on Wednesday, March 16, and we’ll still have our large fundraisers later this year.”
A further explanation of services, costs of activities and a calendar of events can always be found at maumee seniorcenter.com or in the newsletter. Ruble also invites anyone interested to stop by the center to ask questions or simply see the space.