The Yadkin Valley Senior Center (YVSC) held its annual Valentine’s Day party Thursday.
Lisa Money, director of the center, said the facility is used for a number of different activities. Tai Chi, low-impact aerobics, quilting and sewing are among the regular opportunities, but the center offers much more for local seniors of Yadkin and Surry.
The center provides healthy lunches catered from Aramark, an international food service provider, and participates in Meals on Wheels to bring meals to shut-ins in the area. “They truly are shut-ins,” said Money, “and we try to do something for them as well.”
During the lunches, the staff also bring in guest lecturers, who talk on topics important to seniors. These focus on subjects like the risks and preventions of diabetes and heart attacks, fraud and scams targeted at seniors, and safety in the home to prevent falls or other accidents.
Maxine Macemore, the site manager at YVSC, said the center doesn’t offer junk food or bad meals, but they try to do something extra for the seniors on Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween.
This Valentine’s Day, the center offered snacks and cake to the seniors following lunch, as well as a rose and stuffed animal bouquet to the shut-ins.
The staff treat the seniors as elders, not the elderly.
“I learn something new every day. That’s the beauty of working with older people,” said Money. She held back tears as the various seniors came by to praise her and the center.
“This is the best place. We don’t come for the meals; we come for the socializing. This is really like a family to us,” said Millie Young, talking about her and her husband Frank’s experiences at the center.
Ralph and Emiko Goodman sat down with Money and talked about their lives, how they met, and how much they enjoyed the center. Emiko made origami swans, signing her name in her native Japanese as gifts.
The center was decorated for the occasion, but as soon as the meal was over, the seniors each lent a hand to clean up before leaving. Keith Macemore and Luther Thompson, 82 (who ran marathons until recently) swept circles around the room as Emiko finished the presents.
The center receives funding from Surry and Yadkin counties, and serves the seniors of both counties. Money said the community sometimes thinks the center only caters to Jonesville or Yadkin County, but that it was a misunderstanding. The YVSC is a stop on the bus route provided by the Yadkin Valley Economic Development District, Inc., or YVEDDI, which provides transportation to the public across Yadkin, Surry, Stokes, and Davie counties. YVEDDI recently opened a route serving Elkin, and the hope of the center is that the route will eventually connect with Jonesville and bring increased numbers of Elkin residents to the center, according to Money.
While donations are accepted, Money said she would much rather have people donate their time and get a blessing from the seniors at the center.
The Yadkin Valley Senior Center is a YVEDDI program funded by The State of North Carolina, the Counties of Yadkin and Surry, The Yadkin County United Fund, The Yadkin Valley United Fund and through private donations and contributions.
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