Julie Day is the new Care Connections county services director at the Sedalia Senior Center and she hopes to offer more health based services while emphasizing that the center is for everyone.
Day, who has lived in the area most of her life, began June 9, and as director plans to not only spruce up the inside of the center with paint and curtains but plans to offer additional services.
“First we’re wanting to do some updating to the facility,” she said. “Add some fresh paint and cafe curtains. What I want to achieve in the dining room is more of a cafe, homey emphasis instead of it being so institutional looking. And then I would also like to get more people aware of what we have, so that we can get more people coming in and dining. People need to realize you don’t have to be a senior to come here and eat. Everyone is welcome.”
Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and people 60-years-old and over eat for a donation, she said, while those 59 and under pay $6.50 and children 12 and under pay $3; for to-go meals the cost is $6.50.
“I’m also wanting to get more activities going here, and I’d love to get more health things going,” she added. “Whether it be people coming in and talking about health topics or … someone to do health classes.”
At present, Day said the center has someone that comes in and does “pedicures” or toenail trimming for the clients.
“They used to have someone come in regular to do blood pressures and I’m trying to get that back,” Day said. “And also to do glucose checks, and have that done monthly so people will know. Have it advertised in the paper, on the radio and on our news letter so people will know so people know ‘hey I need to be here to get these things done.’”
Day said she wants people to come in for a nutritious meal and to socialize, but she also wants them to come in to get their health checked.
She also plans to start a program that will help people with their taxes.
“That was something that used to be offered here, that went to the wayside,” she noted. “That’s really what I’m shooting for.”
She said she hopes to bring back several services that were offered in the past.
“Plus increase it and get more activities going,” she added. “Because our hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, but I’m not opposed to staying here because my hours are later than that anyway.”
She said if people wanted to come in later they will be able to watch movies and play games on the Wii.
“I would like to get some more activities you could do outdoors, like say a little putting green,” she said. “Just stuff that the men would like as well as the women. And I’d like to have more choices so we could entice more of a variety of people. Especially some that are younger, I’d really like for people that are younger to know that hey this is a fun place to be, and they have good food.”
She said she hoping to reach out to people in their middle 40s to 50s.
“Just to get them in here and see what it’s like,” she said. “And plus, get their input on it. Like what else would bring you in here? “
Another important facet, for her, is improving the volunteer recognition at the center.
“I want it to be more volunteer friendly,” she said. “I want to get more things going so the volunteers know how much they are appreciated and valued. It’s without question that they are needed.”
She added that the volunteers who drive and deliver meals know how much their service means to the clients.
“Those people are so grateful,” she said. “I went out with one of our drivers a couple times — if I could volunteer that’s what I’d do and not work for a living. Because it’s so rewarding to see the looks on these peoples faces — sometimes that’s the only one that they have come to their door.”
She hopes to implement more incentives for volunteers instead of only the yearly banquet they have now at the center.
“And then if people are considering a civic duty then they would consider us,” she added.
The Sedalia Senior Center offers many activities, such as cards, pool tables, bingo, a creative writing class, an art class and three computers with Internet are also available. Day said she hopes to bring in someone in to teach computer classes for those who are interested.
“Like if anybody needed some help on basic computer skills or Internet surfing, that’s something that we’d like to get in here,” she added.
Day said she is excited to be a part of the Sedalia Senior Center.
“I’m really excited about it, it is overwhelming, they have been without a director for awhile,” she said. “I am really excited about it, my background is working with the elderly … I want this to be a friendly place were everybody feels welcome and everybody feels comfortable coming through the door. I know it’s going to be a work in progress but I hope by this time next year, we’ll see a lot of positive changes.”
For more information on volunteering or services call the Sedalia Senior Center, located at 312 S. Washington Ave., at 826-0713.