There is much talk about aging in place or aging in community. Many of our residents have lived in the greater Newark area most of their adult life. The selection of restaurants, access to major cities and close proximity to healthcare and shopping and have made Newark an attractive place to call home.

Newark is also home to resources that may make it a wonderful community to truly age in place or near family, friends and neighbors. The new assisted living facility to be built on Barksdale Road adds to the options that already exist in the city. Multi-use centers, like the planned redevelopment of College Square, are also the perfect setting for seniors and students. When community living becomes more challenging, several other facilities in and near Newark offer assisted living, memory care units and full nursing care. For many, the preference is to remain living independently for as long as it is safe to do so.

Many will never reach the point where institutional care should be a consideration. By taking advantage of opportunities to remain active, many adults are able to prolong their independence. The Newark Senior Center is the first and only nationally accredited senior center in the state and one of several hundred throughout the country. There are many options for fitness activities, socialization, educational programs and access to services at the center. Other organizations throughout Newark also provide wonderful opportunities to remain involved and engaged.

The NSC is also home to the Meeting of Minds program. This guided group experience is for those in the early stages of memory loss. The staff and amazing volunteers provide programming Monday through Friday from 10 p.m. to 2 p.m.. This provides a much need break for caregivers but also gives meaning and purpose to participants as they make new friends and become more involved and engaged. This service may allow participants to postpone the need for a higher level of care.

Newark provides resources and opportunities for all ages. Many non-profits work to provide options to remain involved, engaged and connected to our community.

Please save the date and plan to attend the Newark Futures Workshop on May 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Learn more about The Newark Partnership and non-profits serving Newark at thenewarkpartnership.org.

Carla Grygiel is executive director of the Newark Senior Center. She writes a monthly column in the Newark Post that highlights issues facing seniors in Newark.

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