2017-05-18 / Editorial

Town offers wealth of senior activities

There’s no doubt senior citizens are a vital part of Jamestown. About one-fifth of the island’s population is 65 or older and they play a large role in many of the town’s organizations, committees, boards, etc.

While the town and the Friends of the Jamestown Seniors have done a laudable job in vastly increasing the number of programs, trips, speakers and services, some residents still would like to see more. They reference nearby North Kingstown or Middletown as places that offer more and in more modern facilities. Those communities also have 4 and 2.5 times as many seniors as Jamestown’s approximately 1,000.

Yes, the building at 6 West St. could use some sprucing up and the aesthetics can be improved and perhaps that’s why some folks are adverse to going to the senior center for its weekday meal program or other offerings.

Without spending a large amount of money — and that’s a whole other important conversation — the current budget of about $73,000 has helped add dozens of programs (both active and passive), day trips, health screenings and speakers that weren’t being offered a couple of years ago.

Most importantly, let’s not forget these activities complement a wide array of existing local organizations and groups that offer a haven for those with myriad interests. There are numerous arts-based (music, theater, artists), outdoor (birds, trees, trails), sport (sailing, golf, walking), educational (books, history), government (boards and committees) and philanthropic (lighthouse, art center, library) groups that should sate anyone’s appetite for being involved and staying active (both mentally and physically). There’s also a wide range of events hosted weekly by the library.

Our town as a whole is one large senior center to a degree with an abundance of options. Yes, there could be more and the recreation department seems to be moving in that direction. In the meantime, venture on down to the senior center or recreation center and peruse what they have to offer. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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