Merrillville Parks Putting Seniors in the Spotlight

Merrillville Parks Putting Seniors in the Spotlight

Getting out and active in Northwest Indiana isn’t just for the young, seniors are joining in on the fun too. And Merrillville Parks and Recreation is dedicated to making sure there’s plenty to do for the young and the young-at-heart through a variety of free senior programs aimed at helping seniors stay active, social, and independent.

For instance, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the Parks Department has teamed up with Northwest Indiana Community Action to bring a certified instructor, Sheila George, to lead seniors in aerobics.

But even if you think you may not be ready to dive into aerobics just yet, the department also offers Senior Aerobic and Tai Chi DVD programs for seniors who want to test the waters at their own pace and eventually move up to yoga and aerobics with an instructor.

“Many people prefer to start with the DVD and exercise to the best of their ability,” said Recreation Coordinator, Ruth Hashu-Roorda. “Once they feel confident with their balance they are welcome to join our yoga class on Monday mornings.”

And if exercise is not in the cards, the department also offers social events for seniors like, well, cards.

“On Mondays we have a pinochle group that comes in and plays cards from 11:30-2:30,” added Roorda. “New members are always welcome and the organizer, David Swineheart, is more than willing to sit with the seniors who either haven’t played in awhile, or have never played and need to be taught.”

These programs are all a part of the department’s commitment to the community, which extends further than just games and exercise with classes geared toward teaching seniors valuable computer skills, and even helping out with affordable lunches once a month.

“We have Monthly Senior Luncheons paired with a speaker who talks about issues geared towards those 55-and-over,” Roorda explained. “It is paid and the fee for this is $5 per person with lunch provided by our friends at Meals on Wheels.”

“We can accommodate up to 50 people for these lunches, but the seating goes fast so we encourage people to call in the first week of the month to sign up.”

To sign up for one of these lunches, or learn more about the free programs geared towards seniors, visit the Merrillville Parks and Recreations Departments website (link), or call 219-980-5911.