There is a lot of laughter that happens at the Grand Center, Grand County’s hub for elder services and society. The seniors and the staff have an easy familiarity with each other that comes from the many classes, discussions, lunches, and trips organized by the Center.
“There’s not a face I don’t know,” said Lorette “Yordy” Eastwood, the Grand Center’s program director. While the Center has a deep community feel, Eastwood and the Center staff want to expand and make sure all of the county’s elders are able to participate.
“We really want to get our Grand County seniors out of the house,” Eastwood said.
Karen Feary, chair of the Grand County Council on Aging, said that U.S. Census data shows that the local population over age 65 is growing.
“Some people are still coming out of COVID isolation,” she said. “Getting out and making friends, being social, is so important.”
The Grand Center has added many activities for local seniors, in addition to the centerpiece of the Center’s social life: a nutritious communal lunch prepared on site on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at noon. Lunches are provided for a small fee of $2.50 for seniors and are often accompanied by live music and followed by card games.
“There are exercise classes, bingo games, coffee and tea discussions on various topics, and crafting sessions,” Feary said. “We had a Academy Awards party, where we gave out awards to local elders.”
Local seniors get around as well, with the Center helping to organize trips both locally and nationwide. Shopping trips to Grand Junction with a leisurely lunch are offered monthly, and the Center also arranges overnight trips to enjoy theatre and entertainment regionally. This month, seniors will travel to Salt Lake City to see a play and go to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.
“The big trip this year is in August,” Feary said. “We will be going to Mount Rushmore by bus and we are looking for more people to sign up!”
Local seniors over 60 who’d like to hang out with peers, get exercise, access help with technology or travel can find more information, monthly menus, and activity calendars at www.grandcountyutah.net/178/Grand-Center, by calling 435-259-6623, or by going on the Grand Center of Moab Facebook page.
“We’re all recovering from COVID isolation,” Feary said, “so it’s more important than ever to have a place to gather and enjoy each other’s company.”