Senior Living

Exercise classes just for seniors

So how are you doing on that New Year’s resolution to get into better shape? Did you start that exercise program yet? Is it because you really don’t like to exercise? Do you know why?

For some older adults, the thought of going to a gym with people of all shapes, ages and sizes is intimidating and overwhelming. This feeling turns to hopelessness if that same person has any trouble with mobility, pain, vision or even hearing. How many times have you heard someone say, I can’t exercise because of my (fill in the blank) condition?

There is an alternative for older adults that is far more compatible, and dare I say fun? All of the West Shore area senior centers offer an array of exercise classes that are geared toward seniors; a senior-only gym, if you will.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 10:04 AM, 01.22.2019

Chair volleyball comes to the Westlake Senior Center

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 40 percent of American adults sit for more than 8 hours per day; 40 percent are physically inactive with no moderate exercise during the week, and an additional 10 percent fit into both categories. These percentages increase with age.

But sitting doesn’t have to mean inactivity. If you’ve ever taken a spinning class, you know what I mean. Chair yoga is another (less intense) option that is very popular with seniors, giving a full work-out regardless of balance and mobility issues.

Now there’s another fun option in town that is also a team sport. Indoor chair volleyball is a new activity taking senior centers across the country by storm. It is played with two teams of at least six players, with a shorter, 5-foot-high net. The “volleyball” is actually a beach ball. Rules are similar to regular volleyball except for the “one cheek on the chair” rule. Yes, I said one cheek on the chair; think about it.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:49 AM, 01.08.2019

10 resolutions for dealing with aging parents

It’s a whole new ballgame when our parents enter their 80s, and it’s easy to fall into bad habits when we’re with them. In 2019 I resolve to:

  1. Stop “dealing” with them: Language matters, and if I’m not careful, Mom will think I consider her a burden, which is not the case. 
  2. Walk in their shoes: Imagine you’ve lost your spouse or home or driving privileges – or all three. Would you be sad now and then? Angry? Confused? I resolve to work on my empathy muscles in 2019.
  3. Consider they might be right: My dad made it to 87 without organic kale juice every morning, so I need to stop sniping about his hot dogs and Pop-Tarts. And I resolve to drop off Dortmunder 12-packs now and then.
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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:48 AM, 01.08.2019

Join a Fifty-Plus trivia challenge team

Here's a trivia question: What show has been running for the past 50-plus years, primarily on WEWS Channel 5 on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.? Hint: Don Webster was one of the long-running hosts of this 12-time Emmy Award-winning program.

If you guessed "Academic Challenge," you are correct. If you are 50+ and guessed "Academic Challenge," you should try out for our team!

The senior center in the city of Westlake is participating in an Academic Challenge-style trivia contest which includes 30 senior centers from Northeast Ohio, and we need to form a team! You do not need to live in Westlake to participate, but you do need to be 50 or older, and enjoy trivia competitions.

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Volume 10, Issue 24, Posted 10:04 AM, 12.18.2018

Take the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge to beat the holiday blues

The holidays can offer tidings of comfort and joy, but for some, they are tidings of distress and sadness. In particular, seniors who are coping with losses may experience a more pronounced sense of loneliness over this time of year when expectations are heightened, but daylight is lessened. 

If you are Plus-50 and fall into this category, or in general are looking for ways to better manage your holiday stress, I urge you to take the 12 Days of Christmas Senior Center Challenge.  The challenge is simple, visit one or several of your local senior centers 12 times between now and the end of the year. How will this help? I will give you a dozen ideas to illustrate.

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Volume 10, Issue 22, Posted 9:34 AM, 11.20.2018

Dedication to boating rewarded

Nate Cullinan inducted into Spirit of America National Youth Boating Hall of Fame

On Sept. 24, the Spirit of America Foundation announced the establishment of the first National Youth Boating Hall of Fame and Nate Cullinan from Bay Village was selected as one of four inductees. 

In the 24 years of the Spirit of America Foundation's existence, this new national honor has been presented to the first four young nominees for their truly inspiring dedication to boating and water safety education and the manner in which they have gone above and beyond to share their knowledge with others at such a young age.

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Volume 10, Issue 21, Posted 9:56 AM, 11.06.2018

Arden Courts Westlake recognized for outstanding resident satisfaction

Arden Courts Westlake received the Excellence in Action award from NRC Health. This honor, awarded exclusively to NRC Health post-acute clients, recognizes organizations that achieve the highest overall resident or employee satisfaction scores in the NRC Health database – the largest source of long-term care and senior-living satisfaction metrics in the nation. Arden Courts received the customer satisfaction award.

“It’s NRC Health’s great pride to partner with organizations that show such a strong commitment to service,” said Helen Hrdy, senior vice president of client services. “Their sense of mission, and their ability to realize a compassionate vision of care, has elevated them to peak performance in the long-term care and senior living industry. They couldn’t be more deserving of this award, and we’re thrilled to commend and congratulate them.”

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Volume 10, Issue 20, Posted 10:09 AM, 10.16.2018

What seniors have to say

"I know more about being young than you know about being old!" That was a comeback suggested by one of our patrons to the gentleman who expressed his pet peeve that the young people in his life seem to "talk over him."

"I may be old, but I still have a lot to offer" – everyone in the room nodded in agreement. One person suggested that we make a sign for our building and post that as our new motto. The 30 people in the room had a good laugh over that one.

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Volume 10, Issue 19, Posted 9:57 AM, 10.02.2018

Bay Village launches BV60+ activities for active seniors

The Bay Village Senior Center has launched BV60+, a new group for more active “seniors,” along with activities to appeal to this population.

While anyone age 55+ may actually come to the senior center, focus groups revealed that “younger seniors” do not want to come to a senior center because 1) they are still working, and 2) they do not consider themselves seniors. We also learned, however, that this age group wants to socialize and get to know people in their age group and community.

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Volume 10, Issue 18, Posted 10:04 AM, 09.18.2018

Top 10 reasons to visit the Westlake Senior Center in September

People love Top 10 lists. David Letterman made them a part of our pop culture, and the internet assures an ongoing supply. We like them for a number of reasons: they're memorable, educational, practical, motivational and give us a platform to rank our views, express our opinions and have something to talk about over cocktails or coffee. Senior centers are likable for the same reasons!

In honor of the Top 10 list, here are the Top 10 Reasons why you (who are Plus 50) should visit the Westlake Senior Center in September:

  1. Aging Alone (a paradoxical monthly group with topics to help seniors aging alone, not age alone), on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 10 a.m. The topic will be "Conversation with a Fireman" – Westlake's Assistant Fire Chief, Mike Freeman, will join us to discuss safety in your home. RSVP by Aug. 31.
  2. Through the Eyes of an Artist, a weekly series on Thursdays at 10 a.m., beginning Sept. 6. Felicia Zavarella entertains and educates us about the history and lives of artists: Monet, Remington, Gauguin and Picasso. Learn some of the back-stories of their lives as you view their work with a better understanding. Cost is $12 for series, payable by Sept. 5.
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Volume 10, Issue 16, Posted 8:48 AM, 08.21.2018

Living with dementia in an artful way

The mission of the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health at the Center for Artful Living is to enrich the lives of families touched by dementia through the arts and community outreach. Dr. Charles Farrell established the Foundation in 2011 to honor his wife, Carolyn, who died in 2015 after touched by dementia for 10 years. 

Earlier this year, the Foundation celebrated the grand opening of its new location with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough and Westlake officials.

Enrichment sessions offered include visual art, music, dance/movement, creative storytelling as well as other activities. Although not therapy, the activities try to engage the individuals by incorporating all five senses to strengthen communication and stimulate opportunities for engagement and socialization. These activities are provided free of charge to both the individual and caregiver.

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Volume 10, Issue 16, Posted 8:47 AM, 08.21.2018

Bring it on! Senior walking challenge for the West Shore

Spearheaded by UH St. John Medical Center, seven area senior centers are forming walking teams for the hospital's six-week-long "Bring it On! Senior Walking and Wellness Challenge." Competing senior centers include: Westlake, Bay Village, Lakewood, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, Rocky River and Avon.

This friendly challenge offers great motivation to start that walking program you have been promising to do. If you are already physically active, this is a great way to stay motivated and maybe "up your game," to shed those unwanted, stubborn pounds. If you aren't fit, it is a great way to start moving.

While this is a team challenge, it is also really a personal challenge. All fitness levels are welcome. If, at the end of the program, you have increased your average number of steps per day, then you are a winner.

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.03.2018

Free estate planning discussion at BAYarts

A special Friends Forever Luncheon is happening at noon on Friday, June 1, in the BAYarts Fuller House.

It will be facilitated by Brian R. Hassett, vice president and wealth strategist at PNC Ohio Trust Company. Estate planning will be discussed, along with the new tax reform laws and how they affect estate planning and charitable giving strategies. This free talk also includes a free lunch.

RSVP by May 25 to or 440-871-6543.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 9:41 AM, 05.15.2018

My parents and technology

I just returned from my trip to the Philippines to visit my parents whom I had not seen for two years. My dad celebrated his 84th birthday. It was a wonderful trip to catch up for the lost time and spend time with them but as is always the case, leaving my parents was very difficult. I was talking to a friend about it and she said, “It’s the reality.” She was right. It’s the reality of living thousands of miles away.

But there is one saving grace. Technology. With the iPad, my dad sends me texts and emails. We also chat via FaceTime, Duo or Hangouts. My dad even got to meet my son’s baseball teammates during one of his practices.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:00 AM, 05.01.2018

With the right bucket list, 78 can be the new 64

It’s true that people who dream the big dreams, with the gaudiest aspirational goals, make the world go round. But as we age, humility and perspective become more valuable than our time in the 40-yard dash. One successful aging strategy is creating a Monthly Bucket List — short-term and attainable. Make your own list, of course, but here are nine possibilities to get you started.

Leave your town. You don’t need to Uber to Hopkins for this one. Get a ride to a restaurant or mall, or better yet go downtown for any reason. Just get out of your neighborhood for a few hours.

Meet a friend for lunch. Has it been too long since you’ve seen a dear friend? Invite her over. Or invite yourself over. Or meet at a restaurant. Connecting warms your soul on a cold day.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.20.2018

Can a senior center improve your health?

How important is social support as a person ages? This may seem like an easy question to answer. Most people would not choose isolation and loneliness versus spending time with friends and loved ones. However, can lack of social support really hinder a person’s overall quality of life?

In a word, yes.

Lack of social support is related to negative impacts on health and well-being, especially for seniors. Having a variety of positive social supports can contribute to psychological and physical wellness of the elderly. While the relationship between physical activity and vitality is well-documented, multiple recent studies have also revealed an increasingly stronger link between social interaction and mental and physical well-being for seniors.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 03.06.2018

Loneliness is the new chronic illness

According to a report last year in Medical News Today, loneliness is a bigger killer than obesity. It is reported to have surpassed obesity and even smoking as a risk factor for premature death. A meta-analysis of research in this area from 1980-2014 finds that social isolation increases risk of death by 30-60 percent. Unfortunately, more and more people report being lonely. Since the 1980s the percentage of Americans who say they are lonely has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent (according to the New York Times, 2016). For these reasons, loneliness is emerging as a new chronic illness.

Since many seniors live alone and/or have experienced many losses, they are an "at-risk" group for loneliness.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 03.06.2018

Itís time for 'National Give Your Adult Daughter a Break Week'

Strolling through Heinen’s the other day I was surprised to find a 4-year-old girl roaming the store by herself. I peered around the corner behind me and saw that all was well; her mom and grandma were just an aisle behind her.

It’s a regular sight these days – the multi-generational shopping trip – and if there were a club for its practitioners the logo would be a mom face-planted near the dairy section, with Gumby arms stretched halfway up adjacent aisles by a toddler and a grandma.

These are perilous times for so-called sandwich moms, in large part because their own moms don’t understand what the big deal is. The Big Deal is that 1978 Mom and 2018 Mom are as similar as a Ford Country Squire and a Mitsubishi Outlander.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 03.06.2018

Teamwork and compassion help weather the storm

I recently learned about something very special that occurred on the campus of Lutheran Home at Concord Reserve. A couple weeks ago, many of the staff members of this senior living campus in Westlake were keeping a close watch on the winter storm warning for northeast Ohio. A bad wintry mix of rain turning to ice, plus 8-12 inches of snowfall was possible. Those icy conditions and snowfall can cause power outages and hazardous road conditions.

The daily challenges of operating a senior healthcare facility intensify during bad weather, especially if deliveries are late, staff cannot safely drive to work or there is a sudden loss of power. CEO Charlie Rinne, administrator Kevin Kilbane and a team of managers began planning for the worst conditions and how to ensure the safety and well-being of its 152 residents.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 9:20 AM, 01.23.2018

Westlake man turns 100, celebrates with Meals on Wheels

Westlake Meals on Wheels’ oldest client turned 100 years old and the City declared Dec. 14 Preston Symon Day.

Volunteers and family gathered to celebrate this milestone. Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough read and presented a proclamation from the City outlining Symon’s distinguished military career – he earned a Purple Heart in WWII – and other major milestones in his life. Symon married Olga, the girl across the street, who was the love of his life until she died in 1998. They had a son, Dennis, who married Angel and had two children, Nichole and Michael. Preston has three grandchildren.  He was an avid golfer and bowler until his early 90s when health reasons slowed him down. Preston continues to live on his own watching sports, old westerns and his grandson Michael on "The Chew."

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Volume 9, Issue 24, Posted 9:55 AM, 12.19.2017

Seniors dance the night away

Great fun was had by all at O'Neill Healthcare Bay Village's Steppin’ Out community senior dance. Several of the local senior communities joined to together to orchestrate an evening of food, fun and dancing. St. Ladislas Catholic Church in Westlake provided the ballroom. Even “Chomps,” the mascot for the Cleveland Browns, joined in the fun.

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Volume 9, Issue 20, Posted 9:46 AM, 10.17.2017

Westshore senior centers collaborate

Eight Westshore senior centers have joined forces with Center For Aging in the Digital World to create a “one-stop” website for seniors residing in the western suburbs of Cleveland. Senior center directors from the cities of Westlake, Bay Village, Avon, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville and Rocky River have formed a strong collaborative relationship in their efforts to provide quality services and programs to older adults in their communities.

Two years ago at the annual Westshore senior center directors' retreat, the group thought it would be a great service if one website could be created that would contain easily accessible information pertinent to all eight communities. While several people choose to participate at senior centers, the directors realized that there are still many people living in isolation who are unaware of the many services, programs and friendships that are available at their local centers. The hope is to cast a broader "net" of information.

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:17 AM, 09.19.2017

A father-daughter dance to remember

One magical evening, the “Central Station” of Arden Courts Memory Care Community in Westlake was transformed into a room of soft music, twinkling starlight, white linens, and a lively dance floor to fulfill a father’s heart's desire.

With the assistance of the helpful, caring and responsive staff and their families, Mike, a resident who is diagnosed with Frontotemporal Degeneration-type dementia, was able to enjoy a father-daughter dinner and dance with his two girls. The team went the whole nine yards to prepare and ensure everything was just right. The special night was part of an Arden Courts program called "Heart's Desire," where the staff fulfill a resident's wish.

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Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 9:47 AM, 09.06.2017

Free motivation to take charge of your health

Do you find yourself losing interest in exercising and eating a healthy diet, or worse, not even willing to try? Are you frustrated by repeated attempts to change your habits, convinced that you just don’t have the willpower to carry through? You are not alone.

Most of us know what we are supposed to do to get healthier, but somehow that doesn’t translate into doing it.

What if you could tackle a few simple, manageable changes at a time? Studies show that the majority of successful healthy lifestyle changes happen after tackling your problem with minor tweaks, one at a time.

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Volume 9, Issue 16, Posted 10:12 AM, 08.15.2017

Eat ice cream for a good cause at the Westlake Center

I dread hearing people talk about the end of summer, when in Cleveland we are really just smack dab in the middle of it. Seeing school supplies and, even worse, Halloween candy already making its way to the store shelves doesn't help. Personally, I find that ice cream usually helps extend the summer joy. (It doesn't hurt too badly during the other seasons either). Ice cream with lots and lots of caramel and whipped cream is especially something to rejoice. 

If you are looking for some fun summer activities for the "50 Plus" crowd, join us for ice cream and more at the Westlake Center for Community Services. If you haven't visited us before, put us on your list of things to do. We are located at 29694 Center Ridge Road. Our phone number is 899-3544 and website is

ICE CREAM SOCIAL – Tuesday Aug. 22, 11:00 a.m.

Devon Oaks has offered to provide the ice cream and all the toppings for this senior activities fundraiser. For the admission price of $3 you can create the sundae of your dreams, visit with friends, and tour the center if you've never been here before. RSVP to 899-3544; admission payable by Aug. 17.

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Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:29 AM, 08.01.2017

Beat the heat at the Dwyer Senior Center

The Dwyer Senior Center has a full slate of activities for those looking to make the most of the summer. From margaritas to ice cream, there are all kinds of fun ways to beat the heat! For more information on these programs, or to register, call 440-835-6565 or stop in to the Dwyer Center at 300 Bryson Lane.


August in Bay Village brings the lazy days of summer! We will talk about safe summer activities that will help keep you fit right here in Northeast Ohio – or if you move on to Florida and extend your summer. Additionally, we will discuss the changes you will want to make as you “Fall Into Fitness.” Talk given by Victoria Yannie, fitness consultant and personal trainer. FREE; please RSVP.

LUNCH BUNCH: MARGARITAVILLE – Thursday, Aug. 10, 11 a.m.

Don’t waste another day before registering to visit the new Jimmy Buffett-inspired Margaritaville restaurant in the Cleveland Flats. There’s an island theme to the location and the ceiling is covered with a sprawling mural depicting an idyllic oceanic map of the Caribbean. The menu boasts beach tacos, jambalaya, fried chicken and steaks with tropical elixirs and of course a wide range of margaritas. They also serve the famous “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Cost is $10 at registration for transportation. In-person registration only.

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Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:27 AM, 08.01.2017

Staying independent through aging

The Westlake Center for Community Services will be offer a free course this fall on independence and aging. The series of six lessons will be held on Mondays, Oct. 2-Nov. 6, from 1-2 p.m. The focus of the course is building an "independence toolkit" that will allow seniors to remain in their homes as they age.

Most of us want to stay in our own home throughout our lifetime. The cost effective way to avoid calamity is for seniors (and their adult children) to educate themselves about how to plan for the future. Each lesson will be presented by experts from hospitals and area senior care initiatives. Participants completing the course will have the tools and contacts to create their personal plan. Seniors and their adult children are invited and encouraged to plan together.

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Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:27 AM, 08.01.2017

Get rolling on the bocce court at Westlake Community Services

Wanted: Bocce players, especially for Men's Group on Thursday mornings. No experience required! Offers great health benefits.

Bocce is an outdoor game that can be played by folks from any age or skill level. It can be played by two people or by two teams of two to four people. The rules are relatively simple. One player (or team) begins by rolling a smaller ball, known as the “palina,” onto the court. Turns are then taken as each player (or team) attempts to bowl his or her balls closest to the palina.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 9:23 AM, 06.20.2017

Join the senior walking challenge!

Note: The phone number in the print edition of this article is incorrect. Call 440-899-3544 to register.

You’ve heard this before: Walking is great exercise, ESPECIALLY for seniors. We have known this for a long time. Hippocrates declared that “walking is man’s best medicine.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t make it on our medication lists. Let’s face it, as we age, the urge to become sedentary increases and is accompanied by myriad health problems.

The good news is that people who start a regular walking program reap numerous health benefits including: decreasing their blood pressure, as well as their cholesterol, blood sugar and even stress and depression levels. Furthermore, a walking program improves oxygen to the body, provides for a healthier heart, improves balance and coordination, muscle strength, mobility, eliminates fluid build-up and helps fight weight gain. Taking a 10-minute walk can change your body chemistry enough to boost you out of a bad mood. Do any of these benefits appeal to you? Of course they do. Who doesn’t want to feel better?

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:39 AM, 05.16.2017

Appreciating generational differences

A hot topic in the world of continuing education is how to manage a multigenerational work environment. Recently, in a leadership class, the young man seated next to me groaned when he heard that was going to be that day's topic. He interpreted multigenerational work environment to be synonymous with millenial bashing. 

Not being a millenial, I was interested in hearing the information from his perspective and thought he had a point, until I heard some baby boomer bashing – and then felt a little defensive. One young man blamed the baby boomers for ruining our country, and expressed his viewpoint that these folks needed to stop being greedy and retire already, making room for the young to be in charge. Yes, the room was quite charged indeed.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:18 AM, 04.04.2017

Celebrating Westlake's most senior citizens

What do Columbo, Alfalfa and James Bond (portrayed by Roger Moore) have in common?

Besides being famously quirky characters, probably not a whole lot except that the actors who portrayed them were all born in 1927. This means that they would be turning 90 this year. Roger Moore is the only one of this trio who is still living (although "fake news" wrongly reported his death earlier this month). If he lived in Westlake, we would be happy to add him to our Over 90s Birthday Celebration guest list; a list that grows year after year.

This year, the Westlake Community Services Department mailed 109 invitations to the 90-plus-year-old Westlake residents we know who live independently. Three of the invitations included couples who are both over 90. Additionally, we sent invitations to the Westlake-based assisted living facilities, as each of them bring a healthy contingent of nonagenerians and centenarians to the table. Of course, we don't know everyone, so please contact us if your nonagenerian didn't receive an invite, and we will happily add them to our guest list.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:10 AM, 03.21.2017

Is a senior center right for you?

What do you think of when someone says the words "senior center"? Do you picture a bunch of old people (much older than you, of course) sitting around talking about the old days?

If so, it’s time to adjust your vision. Today’s senior centers, including the Bay Village Dwyer Senior Center, are vibrant, lively, active places that offer a variety of programs and opportunities to appeal to almost everyone. And by everyone, we mean adults age 55 and older!

So what does one do at a senior center? If you were to stop by the Dwyer Center, you would find:

  • Health and Wellness Programs: A variety of exercise options, nutrition classes and cooking demonstrations, health screenings and a large vegetable garden to grow our own produce are just a sampling of the programs offered at the Dwyer Center. Our goal is to provide the key elements that will help our participants stay healthy and independent as they age.                  
  • Lifelong Learning: Curiosity and the desire to learn do not decrease with age, and help keep our brains stimulated. Whether attending a Lunch and Learn session on a topic of interest or a multiple-week training program, we offer a wide variety of programs to keep our participants informed and engaged.   
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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 03.07.2017

Oh, the places we will go!

Travel tops the list for the majority of seniors, and yes, this includes the aging baby boomer generation. Most opt for educational trips and the ambience of beautiful landscapes and countryside. Comfort usually trumps money (although comfort can be found in thrifty ways). Sixty percent of senior citizens would rather stay in a condo than a motel, and 68 percent would rather stay in a hotel than with family.

Some seniors dream of traveling, but hold themselves back due to: lack of a travel companion, fear of not being able to physically keep-up and affordability. At the Westlake Center for Community Services, we have solutions for all of these obstacles and can help make your travel dreams come true!

Every year we offer a variety of trips including day trips, mini trips and extended cross-country travel. Our Hyways and Byways edition to our newsletter will be available at the end of this month, detailing this year's offerings. In the meantime, allow me to tempt you with some very local day trip offerings. The beauty of the day trip is having the feeling and experience of really "getting away" without having to pack a suitcase. It's like dangling your toes in the swimming pool of travel!

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.07.2017

Fear of falling? It's a matter of balance

If you are a senior, and have a fear of falling, you are not alone. Studies indicate that up to half of community dwelling older adults experience fear of falling. Many respond to this concern by curtailing activities. This in turn can lead to loss of muscle strength, an increased risk of isolation, depression and anxiety, and increases your risk of falling. In short, fear of falling can actually contribute to falling!

The good news is that the majority of falls are preventable. The even better news is that there are strategies you can learn to improve your balance, and take control of this problem.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.21.2017

Socializing at the senior center is good for your health and happiness

The key to happiness and health is to have good relationships; not wealth, fame or other so-called measures of success. This is one of the most important findings from the Harvard Study of Adult Development that began in 1938 and is actually still going on today. It is probably the longest running longitudinal study around. According to the current study coordinator, social connections (family, friends and community) are really, really good for us.

Conversely loneliness results in speeding up physical decline, including declining brain function. In fact there is some indication that satisfaction in life and relationships at age 50 is a bigger predictor of health in your 80s than your cholesterol level! So quality social connectedness should be right up there with exercise and antioxidants. Move over, kale, and enter the senior center! 

The goal of a senior center is to help people get and feel connected; to kick loneliness to the curb. And the winter months do not slow our patrons down. In fact, the mySeniorCenter Fun Facts newsletter reports that senior center attendance in the winter season increases by 30 minutes per day! We are, after all, a hearty bunch here in Northeast Ohio.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:56 AM, 02.07.2017

Senior housing fair to address long-term care questions

That assisted living or nursing facility you pass on your way to work or to visit a family member may one day be “home.” According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website,, seven in 10 of those who are turning 65 years of age will likely need some type of long-term care in their lifetime.

“The conversation that it is time for an elderly parent to give up the keys to the family car is usually emotionally charged,” observed Lydia Gadd, director of Westlake's Community Services Department. “Another difficult conversation is the prospect of having to sell a beloved home because mom or dad cannot live there safely any longer. It is beneficial in these circumstances to take time to collect information and research possible solutions before saying a word. Often the goals of elderly parents and adult children can conflict. By gathering information, and moving slowly and with compassion, the needs of both sides can be better balanced.”  

To help both seniors and the loved ones who may be assisting in the decision-making process, the City of Westlake’s Community Services Department is hosting a free Senior Housing Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Refreshments will be served. The event is open to both Westlake residents and non-residents. Since seating is limited, attendees are asked to RSVP by calling 440-899-3544 before Tuesday, Feb. 14.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:47 AM, 02.07.2017

Bay resident celebrates 100 years

Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar recently joined the staff of O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village in celebration of a longtime Bay resident Mr. William King on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Following Mayor Koomar’s presentation of his special proclamation, everyone enjoyed birthday party festivities worthy of such a wonderful centenarian.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:50 AM, 02.07.2017

When are you old enough for a senior center?

Senior centers offer our older citizens free or low-cost options for socialization, recreation, fitness and education, to name a few things. People who regularly partake in these offerings value them. Unfortunately, there are too many senior citizens who remain isolated in their homes and either don't know about our programs or don't feel compelled to come. 

There is a bit of a "that's for old people" mentality that can be a roadblock. I have heard this sentiment from many, including those in their late 80s. Some people define being a senior as "10 years older than whatever age I am." Why is this? Well, certainly our perspective of aging has a lot to do with it. If we envision aging as something negative and depressing, then we certainly don't want to put ourselves in that category.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:07 AM, 09.07.2016

News from the Dwyer Center

The Dwyer Senior Center in Bay Village will be the subject of two community events this month: a public meeting about a planned renovation, and a lunch fundraiser.

On Monday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m., a public meeting will be held at City Hall to discuss the proposed conversion of the Dwyer Center kitchen into a commercial kitchen that would allow serving of hot meals to seniors. The city is applying for a municipal grant through Cuyahoga County to provide the funds for this renovation. Anyone interested in this project is invited to attend.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 10:57 AM, 09.07.2016

Letter Carriers Band visits Bay Village

On Thursday evening, June 23, O'Neill Healthcare Bay Village hosted the Letter Carriers Band. The group is, as the name suggests, entirely comprised of United States Postal Service letter carriers. Their big band sound was a big hit with all who attended. O'Neill Healthcare Bay Village also hosts the M2B2 Jazz band twice monthly on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the main dining room. This band plays frequently at The Brothers Lounge and other venues locally. These events are open to the public so if you want to hear some great music please join us.

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Volume 8, Issue 13, Posted 9:23 AM, 07.06.2016