The Douglas Senior Center is one of those places you might not have known existed. However, the Douglas Senior Center has a lot going on and some healthy and happy active members.
Inside their metal building that is also a disaster center for severe weather, they have a giant room with tables for everyone to eat and play cards and other games. They have an exercise room along with sewing equipment.
“We do quilting a lot,” Director Joyce Lambert said. “We sell those to make money for the center.”
They make king, queen and other sizes, but the most popular is queen according to Lambert.
The center has regular speakers who come to talk and inform everyone on a variety of topics.
“Just yesterday (April 10) we had someone from the police and fire department come,” Lambert said. “I personally learned a lot from that, so I know everyone else did.”
Lambert has goals of expanding the center and adding new members.
“A lot of people don’t know we’re here,” Lambert said.
The center also has a bus they are looking to replace in the near future. They are asking for a grant from the Marshall County Council on Aging.
“We went to get it washed,” driver Rosemary Foster said. “And the pressure washer they were using stripped the paint off of it.”
It is also older and has seen its better days according to Foster.
Foster uses the bus to pick up some members who are unable to drive, and also takes lunches to those who are unable to get out of their house. She sometimes takes members to grocery stores and doctor appointments. They also take trips to different events happening around the county and farmers markets as well.
“We try to keep everyone busy,” Lambert said. “We almost always have something going on.”
They go to eat breakfast twice a month at different locations. They partake in exercises every Thursday as well as a nutrition class on certain Fridays.
Every other Wednesday, the Marshall County Cooperative Library rolls over in a bus similar to what the center has. The Bookmobile has shelves and shelves of books.
“Some of them get stacks of books,” Foster said laughing. “And I know there’s no way they read all of them in two weeks, but they say they do.”
The center also participates in different events around the county. They have a Senior Health and Fitness Day set for May 10, and they are also excited for Rehab Select’s FlaBingo on June 8.
They celebrate birthdays once a month as well.
“We have cake and ice cream to celebrate everyone’s birthday that month,” Foster said.
They have quite a few members who are over the age of 90, and they are all active members who come nearly every day.
Ruth Johnston is the oldest member at 92, but Ruth Shell and Sue Moman are not far behind her at 91.
Shell is an avid traveler and recently took a trip to Israel, while Moman has been a judge at county fairs for 30 years. She still drives out to Fort Payne to judge different things like animals, quilting and baked goods, according to Foster and Lambert.
“They love coming here too,” Lambert said.
Lambert encourages anyone 60 and over to come fill out an enrollment form to join.
“We just want to let anyone and everyone know that we are here,” Lambert said. “We are more than willing to come pick them up if they’re unable. Just give it chance and know we are here.”