New director hopes to add spark to senior center

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By Molly Haines

With plans to increase participation at the Owen County Senior Center, its new director Stacey Long wants everyone to know that there’s nothing dreadful about getting older.
Long, who took over the reins at the center Aug. 13, said she fell in love with seniors after working 15 years in a cardiology office and hopes to breathe new excitement into the center.
“I just fell in love with seniors,” Long said. “You’ve got to work with them to understand it – but seniors are someone’s former teacher or preacher or friend and maybe they just don’t get those visits they used to.”
About eight seniors attend the center on a daily basis.
Long said she hopes more will begin to take part once awareness is raised about the center.
The center is open year-round, Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.
 “I have a meeting lined up with a social worker to brainstorm new ideas for the center,” Long said. “Right now I’m just getting my toes wet, but I hope to see more and more seniors attending as I go along.”
The center is currently located on West Perry Street but will soon move to the location of the old Owen County Public Library.
Although a date has not been set in stone for the move, Long said the seniors are excited about their future in a new location.
“We’ll have an open house when we move (to the new location),” Long said. “The seniors are excited about the extra space and the newness of it.”
For those 60 and up, Long said the center offers a hot meal every day at lunch and those interested can stop by the center and fill out a form to participate.
The center offers a variety of activities, including Bible study on Tuesdays, games, crafts and Bingo.
Long said her main goal is to raise community awareness about the center and Owen County’s seniors.
“This is a fun place to be,” Long said. “Whether you’re a young senior in your 50s or an older senior, you can come here and join in on our activities. There’s nothing dreadful about coming to the senior center.”
Long said by visiting the center, seniors can keep their mind and bodies active.
“I hope to grow old with the seniors myself,” Long said. “The more people we have, the merrier. We’re all going to be seniors someday and I hope there’s something like this here for me when I get there.”