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Chelsea Senior Center vies for vital seniors grant

Courtesy photo. Ron Hopp boards the WAVE’s Lunch Bunch Bus to return home from the Chelsea Senior Center.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Pamela Parkinson for the information in this story.)

The theme for September’s 2018 National Senior Center Month is, “Building Momentum.”

Chelsea Senior Center (CSC) is celebrating this theme in a very literal way:  Competing in the Vital Seniors Competition for the chance to develop flexible rural transportation solutions for older adults.  

We are fortunate to already have some transportation options in Chelsea.   Even though Ron Hopp and Nancy Kiel own their own vehicles, they frequently take the WAVE’s Lunch Bunch route to enjoy lunch with friends at the center.

Nancy says, “We are slower reacting when we drive so all our attention is focused on the road and we don’t get to see what’s happening in town.  [When we take the WAVE] we get to see the scenery.”

The WAVE’s free Lunch Bunch bus route brings older adults to the Senior Café lunch at CSC Monday through Friday. It is a convenient option for older adults who no longer drive or for those who wish safe transportation on days when weather makes driving a challenge. Some also take the route because it allows them to spend time with friends along the way.

The Senior Café offers a hot nutritious lunch or a gluten free and diabetic-friendly entrée salad and is available to seniors 60 years or older for a $3 suggested donation. Funding is provided by the Area Agency on Aging 1-B and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development. To celebrate National Senior Center month, the WAVE is offering 50% off lunch vouchers for any older adult who rides the Lunch Bunch bus to CSC for lunch.  Where else can you get lunch for $1.50?

While public bus routes provide some measure of independence, the schedule itself can be a limitation as Doris Pratt and John Mohler, who sometimes travel on the Lunch Bunch bus, say. “Quite often we’re concerned about how long we have to stay, based on the bus schedule, but the Lunch Bunch bus route is pretty convenient.”

The Lunch Bunch bus route picks up residents from the Pines and Village Apartments, CRC’s Dancy House and Garden Apartments, and at Bushnell apartments beginning at 11:30 each week day.

The return pick up time is 1 p.m. at the CSC. Of course, there are many programs to enjoy at the center after lunch including cards, movies, bridge, ball room dancing, and even acupuncture. Anyone wanting to stay after 1 p.m. can also schedule a door-to-door pickup service from the WAVE.

Recognized by the Older Americans Act as a community focal point, senior centers have become one of the most widely used services among America’s older adults, with nearly 11,000 senior centers serving 1 million older adults every day.  According to the National Council on Aging, senior center participants have higher levels of health, social interaction, and life satisfaction compared to their peers.  Senior centers are also a gateway connecting older adults to vital community services, such as transportation, that can help promote healthy and independent aging.  Why not check out your local senior center and see what we have to offer? Our monthly newsletter with 50+ activities every week and our Senior Café monthly menu is available on our website at  – celebrate an older adult in your life and National Senior Center month at the Chelsea Senior Center.

About Chelsea Senior Center

For more information about our Senior Café lunch program, please call the Chelsea Senior Center at (734) 475-9242 or email [email protected]  Please call the senior center 24 hours in advance for lunch reservations. The Chelsea Senior Center is a 501(c) 3 non-profit located in the Washington Street Education Center at 512 E. Washington Street, Chelsea, MI.  Office hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Center’s mission is to enhance the quality of life and well-being for area seniors and their families. 

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