For retirees in Douglas, the town’s senior center offers a place for seniors to remain active while providing members a place to spend some meaningful time with their peers.
According to manager Sandy Dyer, the center has around 25 regular members and is open from 7:30 a.m. until around 12:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and provides a place for seniors and retirees to fellowship and play games like cards. At times, they also have special speakers and medical professionals visit, and host events like bingo. She said they are even hosting a yard sale in June as a fundraiser to help with the center’s needs.
She mentioned that the center also houses a pool table, exercise equipment, and a full quilting facility.
“There is so much that this place can offer,” she said.
Dyer said before coming to Douglas, she managed a senior center on Lookout Mountain in Etowah County for 14 years until it closed. As a result, she said she has seen the impact a good senior center can have on people’s lives, and how big a loss it is for members when their meeting place is closed.
“Sometimes they still meet once a week, but the seniors are still pretty sad about the whole thing,” she said.
She said like many others, her center in Douglas gives seniors an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have to spend time regularly with others who are at the same place in life as they are.
“A lot of people don’t have any interaction with other people,” she said. “That’s what they come here for.”
The members at the center on Wednesday were in groups playing cards, and they talked about how it was nice to have a place where they could get together with one another.
“We really enjoy the fellowship,” said Judy Dobbs, one of the center’s members, “that’s the main thing.”
She said she is personally very competitive and loves to come to play cards.
“It’s just good for people to get out and be with people our own age,” said Sue Ross, another member. “We can relate to each other.”
Dobbs said some have been coming longer than others and they have four members in their 90s. Ruth Johnston was one of them and explained that she would be 93 on March 21.
Dyer said that she would love for the center to have more members. She said that aspects of the center like the sewing facility could benefit with more members who are able to use them.
They also have a safe room that serves as a storm shelter for the community of Douglas.
She said the center is great place to be for anyone who wants to have a few laughs and a good time. Anyone interested in becoming a member or making a donation for the center’s upcoming yard sale can call the center at 256-840-1440.