Hudson Senior Center Surpasses the Group’s Expectations

July 25, 2014
Hudson Senior Member Pat Nichols and Senior Services Coordinator Lori Bowen outside the new Hudson Senior Center

Hudson Senior Member Pat Nichols and Senior Services Coordinator Lori Bowen outside the new Hudson Senior Center

by Tom Tollefson

It has been almost 60 days since the May 31 grand opening of the Hudson Senior Center on Kimball Hill Road over by Benson Park.  According to the seniors, it’s a “beautiful building” that fully supports the mission of providing a home for the Hudson Seniors and supporting activities for the group.  During these last months, both memberships and attendance for activities have significantly increased.

Lori Bowen has been hired by the town’s Recreation Department as the senior services coordinator to manage the facility and bring in engaging new programs and continue the current long standing ones.

“I think it exceeds what I expected.  Lori has prompted far more than just card groups and bingo.  They have a men’s club, a reading group, and a zumba class and much more,” said Pat Nichols, Hudson senior member and current selectman.

The 4,600-square-foot senior center has an occupancy of 167.  The building is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and one hot meal is served each day of operation to the members.  The building is complete with the following:

A lounge (furnished with a billiard table and foosball table);

Activity office (used for TV viewing, meetings, and includes an exercise bike and telephone, and also is also used for signing up for senior trips);

Coordinator’s office;

Commercial kitchen;

Function room (can be separated in two rooms and also used for bingo);

Storage room;

Janitor’s closet; and

Two bathrooms.

“We wanted something that we could use for everyone.  There’s a couch and TV for quiet space and then we have an exercise bike for those who want some exercise.  There’s no reason seniors should be home alone.  They should be out with people,” Bowen said.

Dozens of activities to support seniors’ physical, social, and mental needs are run every week such as cribbage, line dancing, and aerobics.  Many new ones have been added to the list due to the schedule and the space availability of the senior center.

“We have over 20 activities going on during the three days we’re open and my vision for the center is for people to use it as they see fit.  Some people may want to be here for exercise,” said Bowen.  “Others might want to just have someone to eat lunch with.”

Currently, there are 297 registered members in the growing group.  Bowen is confident in accommodating a larger number of members in the future.

“I think the expansion plan in the future is for us being open longer hours and more days,” Bowen said.

Hudson Seniors trip leader Lucille Boucher is also excited about the new facility and all it has to offer the Hudson Seniors with giving them a home base and offer a wide base of activities.

“We are very happy with the new building.  It’s a beautiful building and we’re here three days a week,” Boucher said.

Boucher uses the activity office to sign up for trips on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m.  The trip schedule is posted up on the wall in the Senior Center and is also run on Hudson Cable TV.

All senior functions and activities are held at the new facility except for the trips due to the parking space available.  Members gather at the Hudson Community Center for the trips during the school year and the Hudson Recreation Department during the summer.  Both offer more parking spaces than the Senior Center.