By: Jen Russon
Tuesdays and Thursdays are more fun for people over 65 after a new senior center opened in Tamarac that offers a range of activities and healthy meals through a Medicaid managed care program.
Tamarac Senior Center has officially been open since mid-October but held its grand opening Thursday night.
The center offers free transportation, is wheelchair accessible, and large enough for birthday parties and other special celebrations for older guests.
Lourdes Grande, manager at the new facility, gave guests a tour of the dining area, TV viewing room with easy chairs, computer lab, and gaming tables, including a place to play corn hole and BINGO.
“Our salon washes, cuts, and blow-dries hair. You can even get a manicure,” said Grande, adding that one of the rooms at the center is slated to become a gym.
She said the center is outfitted for up to 30 visitors daily, but with the pandemic slowing things down, they welcomed just 17 seniors that day.
“We can help our seniors who speak Spanish sign up easily by having one of our bilingual staff contact them,” she said.
The center is open for exercise and meditation classes, arts and crafts, and various forms of leisure, which commence after breakfast is served.
Lunch and a snack are also included in a visit to the center, which ferries seniors to and from the facility by bus.
Grande said the buses would pick up seniors who live as far away as Deerfield Beach and that anyone can apply for a covered day of fun with Medicare or most types of insurance.
Out of pocket, a day out at the center costs $65.
Owners of Tamarac Senior Center, Yoel Tejada, and his wife Maria, are Cuban and welcomed Mayor Michelle Gomez and other Tamarac city leaders to the grand opening party with festive food and drink.
“We want to bring the seniors who live here more communication, more socialization, and just a place to feel safe and secure,” said Mr. Tejada.
Before she cut the ribbon, Mayor Gomez said she thought her residents would appreciate a place like Tamarac Senior Center.
“We have a great number of seniors, and this will be very good for them — an opportunity to be social and feel stimulated both mentally and physically. Whether they are 65 or 105,” said Gomez.
Shortly after giving a shoutout to resident Vera Scott who had just turned 105 — and would probably like the new center, Gomez got down to the business of cutting the ribbon.
She was joined by Peter Mason, Executive Director of the Tamarac North Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from nearby assisted living communities.
The new Tamarac Senior Center is located at 6570 North University Drive in the Mural Plaza. It holds activities and meal days for seniors on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sign up for a tour here.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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