Parker Senior Center keeps life in motion
There is a place in downtown Parker that is a home away from home for the 50+ community. The Parker Senior Center (PSC) is a membership-based nonprofit organization that offers fun, laughter and friendship with all sorts of group activities. The average age of members is 75, but the range is from 50 to 100.
According to Jan Dengal, the director of PSC, the doors opened in 1985 through a barn-raising event with the then mayor and local businesses all pitching in to help. It quickly became the go-to place for seniors. Everything from meals, exercise classes, games, group outings, and travel create a place that inspires a whole new chapter of life. “The laughter brings me the most joy,” shared Dengal. “It is so heart-warming to see seniors having fun, laughing and talking.”
Fitness offerings include weights, mats and bands, as well as yoga, tai chi and Zumba. A host of games including Scrabble, dominoes, bingo and bridge are played throughout the week. Classes for painting, crafts, woodcarving, ceramics, card-making and more are part of the creative arts program. There is even a daily “coffee-talk” for anyone who just wants to visit.
Bus trips are one of the most popular activities. PSC has a 15-passenger bus that whisks seniors around to see shows, sight-see, visit museums, escape to gambling towns and more, with an average of eight trips per month. Last month, members visited the World Figure Skating Museum, The National Western Stock Show, Breckenridge snow sculptures and more.
Another very popular offering is line dance classes. “It always draws a crowd,” said Dengal who, in addition to being the director, is also the line dance instructor. “I’m a little biased when I say it brings me great joy to see seniors, who think they can’t learn to dance, blossom into wonderful dancers. It’s amazing!” she said.
Plans are underway for a trip to San Antonio in April that will include a guided city tour of the Alamo and a Riverwalk cruise. The group will also take excursions to Austin and Fredericksburg with ample learning and sightseeing opportunities. The offerings at PSC are endless.
According to member testimonials, PSC is an incredible place to forge new friendships, find others who enjoy similar activities and travel as a group. “If not for PSC, there would be numerous individuals who would spend a lot of time lonely at home by themselves,” shared one member.
Dengal is incredibly grateful for PSC and her position there. “This is the most rewarding position I could ever hope for. Words can’t describe my love for our members and what they have meant to my life,” smiled Dengal.
Residents of surrounding communities are welcome to join PSC. Members must be age 50 or older and the cost is $48 per year. Visit www.parkerseniorcenter.org to learn more and then get ready to meet your next best friend and take your next journey at PSC.
By Elean Gersack; photos courtesy of Jan Dengal