CLEARFIELD – The Mature Resources Area Agency on Aging’s Clearfield Center for Active Living has found a new home at the Presbyterian Church of Clearfield, 119 N. Second St., Clearfield.
Established at its new location in August, the center continues to provide the same quality of services to area senior citizens it is known for, while MRAAA staff seize the opportunity to expand upon these offerings thanks to the potential in the new space, and through partnership with the congregation.
“The consumers are thrilled. They love the space – they love the feel and the environment of the church,” said MRAAA Coordinator of Service Enhancement and Development Kathy Bell.
“The church and congregation have been nothing short of wonderful.”
Presbyterian Family Ministries Director Kellie Strouse expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, saying, “It is with great joy and in an attitude of profound thanksgiving to God that we welcome the senior center to their new home.
“We are so grateful to have the chance to get to know these wonderful people and to provide a comfortable space for them to socialize and feel accepted.”
The center provides a place for seniors to socialize and participate in fun and stimulating activities, Monday through Friday, each week.
Those attending can take in educational programs offered by guest speakers from a variety of fields, entertainment such as live musical performances, complete crafts and play interactive games such as bingo, card games and board games.
Center consumers can even enjoy a game of billiards thanks to the donation of a pool table from Clearfield resident Mike McLaughlin.
Those who wish to have a meal at the center are also provided with lunch. Attendance is free of charge for senior citizens in the area.
Bell said socialization alone can be life-changing for older adults seeking company and stimulating activities. According to a study conducted this year by the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General titled, “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation”, about half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness.
“Older adults are among those with the greatest risk of experiencing the negative consequences of poor social connection, which can manifest in physical effects such as a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease; a 32 percent increased risk of stroke; and a 50 percent increased risk of developing dementia for older adults.”
“With one out of two people in the U.S. admitting to feeling lonely, the centers provide individuals with socialization, companionship, meals, community involvement, education, and combats the epidemic of loneliness,” Bell said.
Staff at the Presbyterian Church have enhanced the center experience by permitting seniors at the center to utilize unique and welcoming areas around the church.
While the center is based in the church social hall, a lounge, chapel and outdoor courtyard area can also be accessed, allowing consumers to take in outdoor entertainment and other programs, as space permits, in a comfortable atmosphere.
Church representatives and MRAAA staff are also collaborating on future partnerships that will further increase the experience for seniors, church goers and members of the community.
Bell said, “MRAAA’s mission and the church mission are very similar. We are all interested in meeting the needs of the community, providing services to the people, and connecting them with other services they may need.”
Strouse added, “Part of our statement of purpose includes going forth and engaging in our community. The Presbyterian Church of Clearfield has always been very community-minded and is expanding its efforts to be an active community center for the people of Clearfield and its surrounding area.
“I would like to thank the people from Mature Resources and their dedicated work in our community, and I look forward to the exciting possibilities to help more people in our area.”
A continued growth in the number of people attending both the center, as well as Sunday services at the Presbyterian Church, Bell said, is an early measurement of success.
She noted, “Numbers at the center have increased every week; and people who come to the center are now attending the church, having discovered a home congregation just by coming here for center activities.”
MRAAA manages Centers for Active Living in Clearfield, Coalport, Houtzdale and Mahaffey. For full schedules of activities at all MRAAA Centers for Active Living, visit https://www.mraaa.life/centers-for-active-living.
The Clearfield Center for Active Living at the Presbyterian Church of Clearfield is open from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information, call the center at 814-765-9319 or contact Mature Resources at 814-765-2696 or email@example.com.