Alachua County Senior Center to provide hope for area’s elderly

Published: November 3rd, 2011

Category: Uncategorized

Alachua County Senior CenterNearly 200 people gathered for the ground breaking of the Alachua County Senior Recreation Center at Northside Park (5710 N.W. 34th Street) on Sept. 14. This $5 million, 17,000-square-foot center will be the only one of its kind in the county. To fund this project, we received $1.5 million each from the City of Gainesville and Alachua County and a $2 million state grant. Additionally, we will start a fundraising campaign for ElderCare of Alachua County to pay for ongoing operations of the Senior Recreation Center. ElderCare is a division of Shands that provides services to homebound seniors.

To find out more on how you can give to this vital community need, please call Ralph Alee at Shands Office of Development at (352) 265-7237.

Some of the benefits of this new center will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, health education, nutrition services, preventative screenings, service delivery, arts and cultural activities, a computer lab and social and volunteer opportunities. This is crucial because many of these seniors who are not able to maintain an active and connected lifestyle often become more and more isolated and lose touch with friends and activities that they enjoyed.

“The measure of any society is how we treat our younger and our older (citizens), that group of people who have nurtured us and cared for us and taught us to care for those who come behind,” said Tim Goldfarb, Shands CEO.

Did you know?

• Alachua County has a senior population of 34,515.

• According to 2005 statistics, 15,938 people between the ages of 65-70 called Alachua County home.

• By 2030, Alachua County will have 40,757 residents between ages 65-70.

• Alachua County’s seniors comprise about 15 percent of the population.

• About 125 percent of Alachua County residents 60 or older live at or below the federal poverty level. On

• About 24 percent (8,205 persons) of Alachua County seniors live alone.