NEW BRITAIN – Senior Center director Rex Cone is breathing new life into programs by resurrecting and restructuring old events and adding new activities to the roster.
“We’re trying to get more programming,” Cone, who was hired in November, said. “What I’ve found is that if you schedule it, they will come.”
What Cone has found is that a few changes can go a long way in making the center the place to be Monday through Friday.
The center has updated the “Golden Notes” newsletter, added new lighting in the cafeteria where seniors attend congregate meals five days a week, added a carving station once a month to the lunch program and painted new parking lot lines. “We’re trying to make it more attractive,” he said.
About 50 to 100 people utilize the senior center on a daily basis depending on the day, Cone said. “The more classes we offer, the more business we will have,” he added.
To that end, Cone has added a host of programs that not only connect seniors to exercise, wellness and socialization, but also to the community.
Cone has also resurrected the day trip program with the Hardware City Travelers. The trips are open to senior center members, their families and friends. Each month, the group takes a day trip that usually involves some type of shopping or sightseeing activity and a meal. The cost is usually $80 to $100 per trip. Travelers meet at the senior center in New Britain to board a bus to the location. Between 18 and 30 people each month have taken the trips since March when the program was restarted. It had been seven or eight years since the senior center offered day trips, he said.
The new greenhouse at the senior center is the perfect backdrop to give the Senior Garden Club the opportunity to learn more about growing and offer their plants to the community as a fundraiser to support senior center programs. Seniors grow herb, vegetable and flower plants that will be sold at the weekly Farmer’s Market in Central Park starting this month and running through October. Those who are interested in joining the gardening club can call Cone at 860-826-5291.
The senior center now has a registered nurse from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday each week. The nurse can provide check-ups, nutrition counseling and screenings for a variety of medical issues including blood pressure and blood sugar. A once a month free lecture series also provides information on a variety of topics and the center is now offering free manicures once a month.
New Britain residents who are 60 and over pay $3 for a lifetime membership to the senior center. Non-residents 60 and over pay $10 a year. People can get a membership card on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m. at the New Britain Senior Center. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the programs the New Britain Senior Center has to offer can call 860-826-3553.