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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Aging services expanding programs with new center
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The Essig Recreation Center is now home to the county's department of aging services.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


The Franklin County Department of Aging is looking for volunteers to lead some of the new activities it would like to offer at its new center.

The Essig Recreation Center, formerly the Essig Center part of the Franklin County YMCA, is now being used as a center for senior citizens and indoor recreation.

It is also being used as a program space for Franklin County Parks and Recreation.

Aging services had been leasing the American Legion Post 6 building on Tanyard Road since the 1970s. Its lease was up at the end of August.

With the senior population, age 65 and older, expected to grow by 50 percent between 2010 and 2030, the need for additional recreation space for all ages was acute.

Chris Whitlow, assistant county administrator, said the county had been "quietly looking for space for the aging services program for some time."

When the county purchased the YMCA and Essig Center early last year, a new home for aging services was found.

This facility is expected to handle all the aging services programs in a building that is totally accessible and has all the amenities needed, including the ability to have congregate meals.

With the space and amenities at the Essig Recreation Center, a number of new programs and activities have also been added to the schedule.

They include:

•Frank Cauley Band - (first Thursday of every month from 11 a.m. to noon)

•Chronic Health Self-Management workshop - A six-week workshop to help adults with chronic illness to find practical ways to deal with pain and fatigue, better nutrition, and new treatment choices. The workshop starts Feb. 28. Register by Feb. 14.

•Senior Scholars - Coming Feb. 4, first Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon, a book club for meeting like-minded people and enjoying a good discussion. The first book on the list will be "Wish You Well" by David Baldacci, a local and a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. Register by Jan. 23 to join the club.

•Board Game Battles - Coming Jan. 3, the first Friday of every month from 1-3 p.m., a board game free-for-all testing skills against fellow opponents at games of Scrabble, Monopoly, Checkers or UNO. Bring a friend.

•Senior Buddy Program - Coming Jan. 31, the first Friday of every month from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., a special time set aside to read to young children in the county. To sign up, contact the Department of Aging at (540) 483-9238.

•Senior Check-In Program - For those needing an occasional well-being check in call. Sign up at the center by calling (540) 483-9238.

•Senior Bowling - The first Wednesday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m., meet at Rocky Mount Bowling Center to enjoy a little competitive exercise. Senior discount covers $2 games as well as free shoe rental.

•Potluck Bingo! - The second Tuesday of the winter months from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring a dish to share, a drink for yourself and try to win a grab bag prize.

•BUNCO! - The fourth Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., learn to play this new board game.

•Senior Lunch Bunch - The third Tuesday of every month from noon to 1 p.m., come and enjoy food, fun and fellowship. Lunch is Dutch treat (meal on your own). Register by calling (540) 483-9238 the Tuesday before so that arrangements can be made at the hosting restaurant.

A leader or pianist is also needed for a senior choir as well as a leader for the breakfast buddies program.

Anyone interested in leading any of the upcoming activities or having an idea for another activity should contact Amanda Carter at the Department of Aging at (540) 483-5152 by Feb. 28.

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