Check Out the Bismarck Senior Center!
This morning I visited The Bismarck Senior Center. I was greeted by a Sharon, a volunteer who is a retired nurse and caregiver. She was friendly and helpful. The first thing I saw was the gift shop filled with crafts, quilts, doilies, hand-stitched dish towels, baby blankets and booties, handmade greeting cards, flower arrangements and more. Everything in the shop was made by volunteers at the center and the proceeds go back into the center. Then I saw about 50 people in the dining room eating the caramel rolls that are always served on Wednesdays. Yum!
Two option counselors, Rhonda Rath and Darcy Avery, gave me a tour of the center. I found it to be very nice, clean and well organized. In addition to the gift shop, there is a large dining room, an activity center with billiards and card tables, a library, a craft room, a sewing room and meeting rooms.
The center serves congregate meals to anyone age 60+ at noon Monday through Friday. Today they are serving steak with onion au gratin potatoes, Brussels sprouts and tapioca fruit salad. Menus are published on their website. They accept free will donations for meals. The suggested amount is $3.50 per meal.
The Center also provides home delivered meals. Hot nutritious meals are delivered to persons over the age of 60 who are homebound and unable to prepare their own meals. I was told that today they are delivering 140 meals to residents within the city limits.
Educational and social activities are offered throughout the year. Last month they had a presentation on Emergency Preparedness by Bismarck City Emergency Director, Gary Stockert. Other activities include Arts and Crafts, Ceramics, Quilting, Billiards, Bingo, Bridge, Bunco and Pinochle (my personal favorite). They also have a book club, something else I would enjoy. This month they are reading “Still Alice,” by Lisa Genova. It is her biography about having and living with Alzheimer’s. I’m going to add it to my reading list.
Help with care choices and resources
There are two licensed RN’s on staff that provide foot care, medication setup and blood pressure checks. Rhonda and Darcy provide option counseling to assist seniors to determine appropriate long-term care choices, based on individual needs, preferences and circumstances. Through home visits and telephone calls, they connect people with the appropriate resources.
Darcy and Rhonda both emphasized the importance of the volunteers at the center. The Volunteer and Activities Coordinator, Colette Barth, reported that they have an average of about 50 volunteers daily.
I encourage anyone over the age of 60 to check out the Bismarck Senior Center, either to volunteer or to enjoy their services. It has something for everyone! The Center’s hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They are located at 315 N. 20th St., Bismarck, ND. The phone number is 255-4648. You can subscribe to their monthly newsletter at http://www.bismarckseniorcenter.org/id17.html.