Thursday, February 23, 2012

Letters to My Grandchildren

Letters to my grandchildren: Atlanta Senior Citizens Oral History Project

Tuesday, February 28, 201211:00 AM-1:00 PM
Central Library Auditorium1 Margaret Mitchell SquareAtlanta, GA 30303Google Maps - MapQuest

Seniors from Senior Citizen Services of Metro Atlanta will talk about their experiences growing up under segregation and during the Civil Rights Movement.

Cost: Free and open to the public

Monday, February 20, 2012


I met Mr. Roy three months ago when he visited the Northside Shepherd’s Center, which occupies a section of the main Senior Citizen Services building. Roy loves to play Wii Sports, but coming to the Center more often is difficult because Roy is legally blind. When we met, he told me, “I can see you’re there, but I can’t see your face.” He can see the outline of the Wii bowling alley, though, and he will play peers, staff members, volunteers, kids, or anyone who picks up the Wiimote. Roy is a social butterfly who is at ease cracking jokes in groups of strangers. As his ability to see the world around him faded, it quickly became apparent that spending most of his day alone, staring at the blurry walls of his apartment, isn’t his idea of a good time.

Isolation can be a serious problem for seniors and it sometimes leads to depression or substance abuse. Addressing hearing loss early is an easy way to prevent isolation, as seniors who have trouble hearing may be less likely to engage others in conversation. If you or someone you love suffers from hearing loss, a trip to the doctor’s office might solve the problem and open the door to opportunities for interaction. Many seniors benefit from using technology to maintain contact with old friends or to make new ones. Online photo albums and instant messaging services can help keep seniors connected to the outside world. Plus it’s never too late to learn new skills – just ask Roy! You can learn skills like these from classes at neighborhood senior centers.

To make sure seniors like Roy have a place to go, Senior Citizen Services runs seven neighborhood senior centers, in collaboration with Fulton County. Seniors age 55 or older are provided transportation to local centers for activities that strengthen, stimulate, enliven, and empower. Centers provide lunch and create opportunities for developing critical relationships, socializing, health and wellness activities, arts and crafts, field trips, and education.
This is just one way that we make sure that no Atlanta area senior is hungry, cold or forgotten.

For more information, see

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Organize a Book Club for Seniors

Senior Citizen Services has book clubs in the Fulton County Neighborhood Senior Centers. Here are some tips for starting your own "senior book club."

Hold a pre-meeting before the start of the book club to decide if one person will act as a host, or if the group will take turns. Also discuss what type of book the group will focus on reading - classic literature, detective novels, popular fiction, etc. Seniors may enjoy discussing history, authors who research and write about pre-and post-World War II, and art, culture and politics relating to mid-century Americana, for instance.

Many books now come with reading guides to facilitate discussion. When the book selection is made, the host can provide the group with the name of local bookstores or online resources to buy the book or check your local library. The host is also responsible for initiating discussion on the book, ensuring that everyone who wants to is able to contribute, and keeping the tone of the club congenial.

Plan to meet once a month for 1-1/2 hours to allow everyone time to read the selection beforehand. Limit the number attending to no more than twelve so that everyone can share in the discussion.

It's a good idea to have snacks (cheese and crackers, dessert and soft drinks) on hand.
If a particular selection turns out to be a favorite, consider reading other books by the same author. If the book being discussed is also a movie, the group can plan an outing to see the movie or rent the DVD to watch for a movie night.

Read more: How to Host a Book Club for Seniors