January is a great time to consider becoming more active especially as we age. The Joyce Young Center located at the Washington Township RecPlex is dedicated to members and visitors ages 55 and over. The center offers programs, classes, exercise options and the opportunity to interact with peers through games and activities.
Whether you want to make new friends, play bingo, learn something new or get some exercise, the Joyce Young Center offers something for you. Numerous membership plans are available including a low daily rate.
Uriah Anderson has overseen the Joyce Young Center as the recreation supervisor for senior and adult enrichment at Washington Township RecPlex for more than two years.
“Joyce Young was an elected official and an advocate for youth, individuals with disabilities and our seniors and was pivotal in opening what is now the Joyce Young Center. Without her we wouldn't be here,” says Uriah.
Membership options include the use of the fitness center, walking track, pool and gymnasium. Classes tailored to seniors are offered weekly including Senior Fit, Stretch & Strength Training and Silver Sneakers. There is even a table tennis which includes a 100-year-old player who has medaled multiple times at the national senior games. The full schedule of classes is available on the website.
There are also opportunities to play card games including bridge, pinochle and euchre. If bingo, jigsaw puzzles or mahjong are more your style, you’re in luck. Painting, floral design, nature chats, book clubs and civic discussions allow members and daily visitors to experience growth and express their creativity.
“It's been fascinating and rewarding to watch individuals come in. You'll watch the groups just wrap themselves around them. People that start out extremely shy, in two weeks, they're laughing and talking. They've got new best friends,” confides Uriah.
Hot, nutritionally balanced group meals are served in the dining room most Tuesdays by registration. Meals are a great way to eat healthy foods while socializing and are often associated with an event or presentation. Recent presentations have included topics on music, art, dementia and heart health. One upcoming event on January 24 at 1 p.m. is a presentation entitled “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” This virtual trip down the historic thoroughfare will take place in the auditorium.
Members can take advantage of transportation to anywhere in Montgomery County for a nominal fee. Uriah and Senior Resource Specialist Betsy Kohls arrange all rides in advance. Three vans are equipped with ramps or lifts to accommodate the needs of all riders. Anyone interested in volunteering as a driver can contact the center to begin the application process.
Betsy also started a program called “There’s an App for That.” Members are taught in small group settings how to locate and use apps to order groceries and other necessities. One member had always done the shopping in her household because her partner couldn’t leave the home. When an ailment kept her from driving, Betsy taught her how to order the groceries she needed in order to continue cooking at home.
The Joyce Young Center has roughly 1,400 pass holders and sees an average of 600 member activities each week. New sponsors and community partners are always needed and welcome.
If you haven’t visited, Uriah has a message, “Stop in! We'd love to show you around and talk to you about the programs, activities and services that are happening every week.”
“People that start out extremely shy, in two weeks, they're laughing and talking. They've got new best friends.”