Lori Bowen Already a SuccessOctober 11, 2013
Lori A. Bowen has been hired as Hudson’s first Senior Services Coordinator and has been drawing rave reviews ever since she started. Reporting to Hudson Rec Director Dave Yates, Bowen is responsible for promoting, creating and directing local programs that promote the health and welfare of senior citizens.
Bowen has a ready smile that lights up her eyes. Ask how she likes her new job and the immediate response is, “I love it.”
Stop by the Hudson Seniors and you quickly see why she loves her job and why Hudson seniors are responding to her enthusiasm and caring. “She’s just lots of fun,” said Ruth Servant.
Bowen is already involved in her job and has been working on the budget that will be presented to selectmen. Although Hudson Senior Center is still under construction, Bowen is working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays at the Community Center where the seniors hold their activities. “Dave has been guiding me though the budgeting process and we will present to selectmen in the near future.”
Yates said that she had been meeting people and getting acquainted. “She was the unanimous choice of the selection committee after interviews were done. We thought that her enthusiasm and up-beat personality would be just the right touch for someone in this position.”
Bowen, married to Keith Bowen, Assistant Principal at Hudson Memorial School, is mother to two elementary school girls, who attend Nottingham West. She said that one of her personal decisions was to learn to play all the games that are currently enjoyed by the seniors. “We bought a Pokeno set, and that card game has quickly become a family favorite,” she smiled. “Next may be Mah Jongg because that is a new activity at the seniors.”
Already changes are being made with Hudson seniors and based on the smiles, these changes are welcome. There is a Tuesday morning Mah Jongg group and while that group is currently small, they are already looking for four more interested members to join in the play.
The Tuesday morning coffee group that formerly met at the Rec Center has moved to the Community Center. Any Tuesday morning that you are looking for a cup of hot coffee, a doughnut and some adult conversation often laced with laughter, come to the Community Center and join them. “We’ve been together for a number of years,” said Don Wright, but are always looking for new faces. “Come have a cup of coffee and stay for a little while or all morning. We talk, laugh, and talk some more.” This past Tuesday, John Lavoie, Ruth Savant, Don and Prudence Wright were still having coffee when I arrived. Sitting down with them, the conversation and laughs easily included all of us. All of them are looking forward to moving to the Senior Center when it opens. “We’ll be able to couple a walk around Benson Park with our coffee and doughnuts,” smiled Don.
Bowen is already keeping a book of wishes. “People are suggesting new activities and I’m putting them into my book of wishes.” Prudence, who comes for coffee on Tuesdays, would like dance lessons. “I remember when my mother asked me if I wanted to learn piano and I said no, I wanted dance lessons,” she said. Finally after she graduated from high school and began working for the telephone company, she also enrolled at Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio and finally got those dance lessons. Today she enjoys dancing as a great form of exercise, which works all the body as well as helps increase overall balance. Dance lessons may be in the future for Hudson seniors.
Bowen is already planning for the future. She’s been over the plans for the senior center and is thinking about how to organize the spaces and how to utilize them to offer a plethora of activities so that Hudson seniors will find something that they enjoy.
“We like the adult conversation at the Tuesday coffee,” said Prudence Wright, “but we also love the laughter.”
Already some of the seniors spoke about becoming friends with people they met at during senior activities and how they have started doing things together outside of organized senior events. Bowen hopes to expand those opportunities by expanding the types of programming available.
In addition to working directly with Hudson seniors, Bowen will have a full plate as she fulfills all the aspects of her new job. She will be responsible for coordinating programs of other government, charitable, and religious organizations to promote cost-effective services to the senior population, and avoid duplication.
“We want her to be able to research and write grants for funding that may be available for senior programs, activities, and equipment such as a mini-bus for transportation, heart defibrillator, etc.,” said Yates and we also want her to be able to prepare public information materials dealing with senior issues for our residents.”
In addition to working on budgets for the seniors, Bowen will be called up to participate in discussions with community leaders and other interested parties to promote the objectives of Senior Services programs and seniors as well as to recommend any needed changes in town policy to promote the interests of seniors.
“I’m just looking forward to all aspects of my job and am happy to be working with such great people,” said Bowen, who urges one and all to stop by the community center for coffee, to play cards, eat lunch or perhaps join the group that plays bingo on Thursdays. “We all bring a brown bag lunch on Tuesdays and eat together. However, on Wednesday and Thursday, St. Joe Senior Services serves lunch. We just ask people to sign up a week in advance if they want to attend.”
So, if you are 50 or older, stop by the community center Tuesday through Thursday, meet Bowen and check out the activities. If you arrive on Wednesday morning, be prepared to join an aerobics or line dancing group.