The Carrabelle Senior Center is again at a point where it cannot go forward as it is. Too many problems. I am reminded of a saying we chanted together as we left Weight Watchers meetings. "If you always do what you always did, then you’ll always get what you always got.”
With serious change in mind, I have been talking to many people in different walks of life. The following are changes and input reflected by more than one person. They are changes to consider thoughtfully.
In order to make these changes truly happen, a senior center director with a proven grant writing record would need to be hired on the condition that grants would be written to cover the salary and more. If money had to be borrowed from another account for this to happen, it follows the idea that you have to invest to grow forward. More usage of the Senior Center by a broader base of people would be encouraged. Some of these ideas are in place but need to be expanded.
· Hire an experienced director who would write grants and recruit a volunteer coordinator.
· Less tables, less emphasis on the Thursday lunch. Consider precooked meals with less salt, less fat.
· Convenient, permanent low stage with portable podium and folding chairs for plays, meetings, exercise, cooking and many other kinds of demonstrations. Invite musicians etc.
· Meeting area for 25 people minimum with a good sound system.
· TV room in the unused offices with lamps and comfortable seating
· Biweekly movies with snacks
· Trips, some of which require walking and a level of fitness and some of which that do not.
· Offer occasional special programs to people in a younger age bracket with the idea that people who use it younger, will use it older. And such activities might help those who are somehow put off by the "senior" part of the Senior Center.
· Communal garden
· Make the Center a "wireless hotspot"
· Offer classes on anything from digital photography to Encore programs from the community college.
· Membership list
Many of these things are controversial, are being attempted currently, or have been tried in the past. A good vibrant director with people skills is the key. Change is needed.