The mission of the Washington County Senior Center is to provide a facility in which older citizens of the community can meet to pursue mutual interests, participate in organized activities, and enjoy a hot, nutritionally based meal with companions on a daily basis.
Our vision is to improve the quality of life of senior citizens of Washington County by expanding our first-class services to all seniors in the community while striving to maintain and provide a safe and inviting environment to all those who enroll in our programs.
Senior Center Wellness Policy
As an organization designed to meet the needs of senior citizens, we commit to creating an environment that enhances both physical and mental health through nutritional programming, physical activity, and mental stimulation. Providing clients with a nutritionally balanced meal and opportunities to be physically active is an expression of who we are as an organization. We will strive to implement programs that will foster good health in hopes that this will reflect on the health behaviors of those involved and impact our community. As time progresses, we hope to see improved health for those attending our programs and plan to promote health within the community by partnering with other advocates and sponsors to increase our programming. We will carry out policy changes in our programs that will make healthy eating and physical activity options more available to all. We will inspire other organizations by serving as an example, as we have in the past. We will share our knowledge with our community through media, word of mouth, and the internet. This policy shall be adhered to in order to improve the health of and the longevity of life for our clients.
Programming & Activities
Smiling faces and colorful decor give an immediate welcome to your entrance. Creative staff generates fanciful displays to draw attention to themes and events. A wide variety of programming is offered so that every Senior can find something they enjoy. Perhaps the biggest draw is BINGO, which is offered several times each month.
Our seniors enjoy giving back to the community three various fundraising activities. Through fundraising, seniors can assist in purchasing needed items for the Center as well as help generate funds for fun day trips. Participants also join in hosting canned food drives and peanut butter drives, raising awareness for cancer and heart conditions, and providing gift bags to area nursing home residents. Twelve new tables were purchased with funds provided from the Christmas Open House held in December of 2008, which boasted a huge selection of wonderful craft items for visitors to acquire for Christmas gifts. Visitors were delighted to experience an “Old Fashioned Christmas,” complete with the smell of cedar and candles aglow in the windows, so to sample a variety of homemade Christmas goodies, and to join in singing traditional carols with Center members. Participants also sold luminaries in honor/memory of loved ones as a fund-raising event during the Christmas season.
Not only does the Center provide entertaining and fund-raising opportunities, but it provides more serious programming that allows seniors to find out more about their health and welfare. WCSC has hosted discussions on Diabetes, Identification Theft, Basic First Aid, Skin Cancer, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education, Medicare Part D, Fall Prevention, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Disease. Numerous guests provide volunteer services to help give Seniors a better understanding of the issues facing them today. Each week a Center participant staff or volunteer presents a devotional. This program allows group participation in stories, art, poetry readings, and songs relating to a specific spiritual topic. In the spring of 2008, the Center dedicated its garden area in memory of five members who had passed away since the re-opening of the Center in November of 2007. The garden hosts a variety of blooming florals and various edibles such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants. Center members help keep the flowers watered and the seasonal vegetables picked. The Center also hosted a ceremony in the spring of 2008 honoring all past and present Senior Center members by planting a red crape myrtle to the left of the entrance.
Parties and socials are a large part of the fun to be found at the Washington County Senior Center. One of the most exciting socials is the annual Christmas cookie exchange. This event is usually held near the beginning of December. Seniors bake homemade cookies to share with one another and compete for awards such as the most unique recipe, the best tasting cookie, or the most colorful cookie display. Besides holiday parties, there are frequent birthday celebrations and even concerts from local are volunteers, such as the Joyful Senior Band, and the Two Bills. Local Christian recording artist, Chuck Hancock even dropped once to present a concert and provided free CDs for those in attendance. So, if you want to be “French for a day”, “Lost in the Fifties”, or attend a “Teddy Bear Picnic”, the Waco Senior center is the place for you! There’s no better place to make a new friend.
Besides planning all the entertainment and activities, the staff at WCSC does a tremendous job in keeping up with the latest food service issues. There are two Serv Safe certified employees staffed by the Center who serve lunch meals to participants. Those 60 and older are screened by the director and entered into the state Wellsky system for the opportunity to receive a free meal. On February 24, 2009, the Center received the first annual “Silver Spoon Award” at the quarterly Area Agency on Aging menu meeting in Augusta, Georgia, for their conscientious work in getting the Senior Center up and running in such a brief time and for having a fully certified staff of kitchen help.
The staff at WCSC have the opportunity to nominate volunteers who provided assistance to the Center on a regular basis during 2008. Each year at least one nomination is made, and Washington County has had several winners! (2017 – DuraLine Mexichem as Volunteer Business of the Year; 2018 – Tennille Rotary Club as Volunteer Group of the Year; 2018 – Ricky Beal as Life of the Party Volunteer; 2018- Capers Brazzell & Honey Dog as Cutest Volunteer Duo; 2019- Judy Jones as the most creative Volunteer) The Center is grateful for the support of the Washington County community! In 2012, Lynne Beal, Activity Director was chosen as the Best Center Manager by the CSRA AAA by the nomination of AAA employee, Cindy Elia. Lynne did a fabulous job locating fun activities and creative crafts that seniors could participate in or make. What a super accomplishment!
The Center re-opened in 2007 under the auspices of The Washington County Board of Commissioners. The Center is operated under the direction of The Washington County Recreation Department. The hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Anyone interested in becoming a part of this growing group can contact the Washington County Recreation Department at (478) 552-0013 or the Washington County Senior Center at (478) 552-0898. The Washington County Senior Center is located at 446 Maurice Friedman Drive in Sandersville, Georgia.
In Fall of 2013, WCSC became involved in an exciting new project with the Washington County Emergency Management Services. The kick-off event was held on December 19th at WCSC with Santa arriving by ambulance to hand out “Vials of Life” to the participants and other community guests. The Vial of Life program was able to get off the ground with grant support from Washington EMC and contributions from the Tennille Rotary Club. Seniors and community members with numerous health issues may register for a vial to be located in their refrigerator door. Contained inside the vial is paperwork providing insurance and health information, and a list of medications taken by the recipient. EMS responders will know to look for this container upon arriving at a location if a sticker is visible outside the door of the home. This could be a life-saving project for many in the Washington County Community, especially if the person is unable to respond to EMS personnel upon arrival. If you are in need of a vial, please contact the Washington County Emergency Management Services located behind Washington County Regional Medical Center. Watch for more events promoting this new project!
In 2015, the state of Georgia mandated fees for Senior Centers across the State. The wellness and advisory council were established to come up with acceptable fees for Seniors to pay for the many activities and supplemental daily meals such as breakfast. A fee was established at $12 per month which amounted to less than $1 per day. In 2016, a gospel sing was held with donations being received by the Senior Center. The featured artist was Mike Rogers of Brian Free & Assurance. Over $2,000 was raised which allowed the monthly fees to be lowered to $10 per senior. Since this time several grants have been received to assist in updating the outside of our facilities. One project will begin in February 2019. This project will make the outside more conducive to those with needs of handicap accessibility. It will allow for hosting more activities outside with weather permitting. In summer 2018, all of the outside shrubs were replaced and re-strawed, as many had become overgrown and portions of them had died. It was the wish of our staff to make the outside of our building just as attractive as the inside. After all, the outside is what you see first! We continue to update our facilities, and during the COVID-19 closure was able to add some new seating in our library and a new washer and dryer combo in our pantry. We are currently working on getting new flooring for our facilities as well. Come visit our space, and I am sure you will fall in love with our Farmhouse!