Senior Center offers entertainment and education

CARLSBAD — Buzzing with activity, Carlsbad’s Senior Center attracts residents 50 and older, especially those interested in social interaction, lifelong learning and healthy lifestyles.
The center’s most recent music program, Fiddle Fest!, captivated a dozen Senior Center regulars for a performance by local musician Kim Stephens-Doll of the Renaissance Institute of Music on Nov. 19.
“We offer a lot of different cultural programs like this musical event, including other entertainment and theater groups,” Senior Center Recreation Manager Gail Lynn said. “You’re learning while you’re having fun.”
Stephens-Doll’s performance offered a trip through various musical styles performed on violin and viola, while her husband Bob provided accompaniment on keyboard.
During the performance, Stephens-Doll encouraged listeners to get out of their seats and dance if they felt so inclined, and the hallway quickly turned into a dance floor.
“I came back to the violin as a later in life learner and it wasn’t easy,” Stephens-Doll said. “That’s why I wanted to come play here and share that experience with all of you.”
Musical performances are one component of the recreation programming offered by the Senior Center, a place that strives to provide affordable social opportunities to the community’s senior population, Lynn said.
“Socialization is key to a healthy mental state,” Lynn said. “We’re trying to promote having access to great recreation and active health lifestyles.”
Hundreds of seniors routinely visit the center for daily meals, monthly dances and various seminars and workshops. The programs also span several generations, offering something for everyone, including baby boomers, Lynn said.
“We try to make it fun,” Lynn said. “Many of our seniors are single, so they’re coming to meet new friends in a warm and welcoming place.”
Monthly workshops provide professional legal information, as well as medical insurance advice. Other seminars focus on living with a chronic condition and comprehensive dietary planning.
“We do health screenings and provide walkers and wheelchairs for services if they can’t afford one,” Lynn said.
Nearly 150 volunteers and another 30 community organizations support Lynn and the Senior Center staff in their efforts to provide opportunities to local seniors.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as well as teens participating in Carlsbad’s Leadership in Training and Education, or LITE, program, regularly volunteer at the Senior Center.
“Collaboration is key in our department to make all of our programs happen,” Lynn said. “We love it here and we love our seniors; we have wonderful facilities and something for everyone.”
For a comprehensive list of programs offered at the Senior Center, visit www.carlsbadca.gov.

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