BAINBRIDGE - With hopes of filling a void for senior services and recreation in the southern portions of Chenango County, the Area Agency on Aging has opened a new site in the Village of Bainbridge that agency workers say will be a valuable resource for the elderly.
The Bainbridge center opened at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church this week, giving locals a place to gather for lunch, recreation, and socialization. The center joins the agency’s roster of seven other centers located throughout Chenango, with a grand opening celebration slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 26.
“This is something that’s very exciting for us,” said Area Agency on Aging Director Nicole Ross. “So many sites are going away across the state, so it’s exciting to have people who actually want to take part.”
For the agency, the Bainbridge location is a place to kick-start a new approach to the traditional senior center. Agency staff say it’s a clean slate for a slew of fresh ideas.
“People are looking for something different from what sites have been in the past,” said Erin Confer, nutrition services coordinator for Chenango’s Agency on Aging. “At some sites, seniors come in, they play Bingo for two hours, they eat their lunch, and they go home. I think people now are looking for something where they can come in and socialize, or maybe there’s an exercise class and something they can be involved in that’s not just the monotonous same thing every time.”
“I think people now really want to be out communicating around other people,” Ross added. “This will give us the ability to do that. And people are welcome to call the center and let us know what they want. We’re always open to different ideas.”
In addition to providing a place to congregate, the new Bainbridge center also gives the agency better opportunity to reach people in the area who rely on the agency’s services, including at-home meal deliveries and a grab-and-go food program.
“It isn’t just about seniors who can get out to the site,” said Confer. “We have a long wait list of people in the community looking for home-delivered meals. This new location will provide another route for us to reach those people.”
This isn’t the agency’s first venue in Bainbridge. A senior center in the village closed years ago due to lack of participation. Nonetheless, with interest swelling again in the Bainbridge area, organizers hope this center will remain for the long haul.
The Chenango County Area Agency on Aging Bainbridge center is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Agency on Aging offers a host of services, including nutrition counseling, home-delivered meals, respite, legal services, and health insurance information counseling, to name a few.
More information on additional programs and services can be found on the agency’s website, www.co.chenango.ny.us/aaoa, and by finding “Chenango County Area Agency on Aging” on Facebook. The agency can be reached at (607) 337-1770.