Elders in our community are living longer than ever before, and in our culture and climate they are often isolated and alone. The Community Senior Center is being developed and created to provide a safe and welcoming place for any elder in the Western Slopes region of Richmond, Huntington and Bolton. It will be a place of belonging, where everyone who attends can contribute their own time and expertise to others and at the same time be supported by others. It will also be a “hub”-- a clearinghouse for volunteering, enrichment opportunities and community involvement. We envision a vibrant center that is both harbor and port, both launching pad and destination. We’re eager to provide seniors with a community headquarters right in the heart of Richmond that will enhance our town and all of our lives.
Vermont is “graying” faster than most of the country, and here on the Western Slopes, our population is aging even more dramatically than it is around the state as a whole. As seen in the recently presented Community Workshop LLC report, although the current percentage of Richmond residents who are over 65 is 9.5%, the projected increases in that percentage over the next 20 years are dramatic. Currently, there are 389 Richmond residents over 65. There are 1425 Richmond residents between the ages of 45 and 64. And, folks in general are staying put-- as of the 2013 American Community Survey estimates, 63% of current Richmond residents had lived in the same house in 1995. There is every indication that the current population will follow this pattern. As seen in the August 2013 State of Vermont publication, Vermont Population Projections 2010-2030 by Ken Jones and Lilly Schwarz, our senior populations will increase very significantly over the coming 15 years. These older adults will be looking to their communities for support as they age so they can continue living in their homes and neighborhoods as long as possible. Thanks to improvements in health and longevity, today’s and tomorrow’s seniors may be more active and eager to be involved than previous generations; our needs may differ in some ways from those of our grandparents. We envision a center that can incorporate the diverse needs of our generation and the next-- recreation, education, fitness, service, and civic involvement.
We want to build a center in which programs like the above can take place, as well as many other activities. Our vision is for a “station” that will serve as a community crossroads. We’re picturing a center that provides meals, classes, and talks as well as meeting, gallery, archive and exercise space. Ideally, we’ll build a home for the Community Senior Center that can also house several local businesses and/or non- profit organizations whose missions align with ours, for the mutual benefit of all.
- Research shows that older adults who participate in senior center programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease and experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental, and economic well-being.
- Today’s senior centers are reinventing themselves to meet the needs and desires of the aging baby boom generation. Boomers now constitute more than two- thirds of the 50+ population. Senior centers are developing new programs and opportunities for this dynamic generation of older adults.
The need to enjoy the best of what it means to be human cannot be exaggerated.
Help expand the community enrichment programs and to provide a physical site in the very near future to increase opportunities for seniors to live their lives to the fullest potential.
Throughout life's journey there is much to do and learn
Conceptual Community Center Floor Plan (click on PLAN to see)