The senior clubs offer socialization, recreation, a breakfast item and a hearty lunch to seniors in the Port section of Elizabeth. Each week two different senior groups - one African American centered and a second Spanish-speaking – meet on separate days at the Center. The programming includes lectures and presentations about financial awareness and avoiding elder scams, computer and internet skills and safety, healthy lifestyles, cooking classes, exercise classes and health screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure. Seniors also have access to our library with magazines and books. The seniors plan their own outings once a month to various educational, cultural or shopping venues. The African American lunch club has been continuously meeting for many years, while the Spanish-speaking club is being reestablished after being suspended for two years. Over 50 seniors regularly participate in these programs. Transportation to and from the Center and for outings is provided by the Center’s newly acquired bus. The purpose of the program is to avoid isolation for seniors and maintain healthy lifestyles while remaining at home.
Due to COVID-19, our senior African American and Spanish-speaking clubs have been unable to meet in person, necessitating the creation of virtual clubs. We partnered with carrier T-Mobile to obtain tablets and a paid for a yearly subscription for cellular data for our participants. Both senior groups have been set up with their tablets or other devices, have been trained on how to set up and meet via Zoom. The clubs have been actively engaged in meeting, doing virtual bingo, chair exercises and art classes.