Friends, mates, comrades, or pals, no matter what you call them it is something everybody wants in life and with them to have fun in ways that keep the mind active and the endorphins flowing.
Since 1984, Beenleigh & Districts Senior Citizens Centre has been committed to all aspects of aged care including home care services, respite care, living independently at home with choice and control and most importantly supporting members with active ageing and social inclusion.
The centre has 60 staff that work in the office, drive vehicles and are out in the community helping with daily tasks such as shopping.
For several years, the Beenleigh & Districts Senior Citizens Centre has been underutilised and left to age in a not so graceful way. However, now there is a new team from the top down and life is coming back to the centre.
Around three months ago, Megan Zwart took over the helm of the centre and has been working hard on a series of changes that will see growth and passion return. A new management committee has also stepped in to bring new ideas to the table.
Changes have already started with a section already painted with more happening soon and the design for a facelift to the inside has been drawn up and is being executed.
Along with the building upgrades, the activities are all undergoing improvements with plans on implementing new and different types of events to draw in a younger senior crowd as well as help reduce loneliness amongst seniors in Beenleigh and surrounds.
“One of the big things that I’m really big on reducing is isolation, loneliness and boredom within senior years,” said Director Megan Zwart.
“Sometimes it feels like we lost our purpose, and it can bring depression and things into our lives, so we are making it so we have a community that can help to take away some of those things.”
Megan has worked in aged care for over 20 years in several companies and has also held a health and safety manager role.
“Very much for me it is to be close with our clients and advocating for them and making it so that they know they are appreciated.”
While the new team are working on making the centre more active, they will also be bringing in other groups from around the area to hold events and activities.
“We will be having other organisations come, such as Rotary, who will be doing BBQs on some Saturdays so it’s not just for us to do everything, it’s that it’s a centre for the community itself.”
Memberships are welcomed by the centre and by being one you are entitled to several discounts. While you don’t need to be a member to join in some of the activities on offer, if you are over 50 than for $11 it is worth signing up. As a bonus to being a member, once you reach 90 your fees are waived, and you become a lifetime member.
Currently the average age of members is 80 and there are many activities and services offered for that age. As part of the new management plan to create new events, it is aimed to bring in younger seniors.
“At the moment the members are more in their 80s which is why we are really going for the younger seniors because for us as well as the community if we can get the younger ones in it then feeds into the rest of the activities and things that we have here as well.”
“So, with the plans we are going to be bringing in are activities on the weekends as well and doing outings and things on the weekends.
“There are many 50 years-old’s that are still working, and a lot don’t feel a connection to the community and so being able to find friends and make friends within the community is one of the things that’s important to us.”
Megan is encouraging everyone to come along and check out the centre on their open day on October 24 to see the improvements and all the great activities on offer in the fresh-faced Beenleigh & Districts Senior Citizens Centre.