West Philadelphia Senior Community Center —The “WOW” Of West Philadelphia
Who says you have to stop traveling, stop learning new languages, dancing, or simply having fun when you become older? Julia Diggs,Program Manager for over 11 years at the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center (WPSCC), says the goal of the organization is to educate, provide social and recreational programs for older adultsin a congregate setting which is what they do. The staff, very caring and loving as they team up together to provide a wide range of activities that help their members and community to grow mentally and physically.
WPSCC celebratedit’s11th anniversary in December 2017. They are funded in part by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and are managed by Liberty Lutheran. Services are provides for 150 plus members on a daily basis.
It is free to join the center as long as you are 50 years of age or older and you are able to feed yourself and do some activities. If you're 65 or older, we offer free door to door service even to your doctor visits.
Over the years, Julia has learned that there are two things that older adults are mainly interested in -- fitness and traveling.
Today people want to stay in shape and live as long as they possibly can. They also want to see the world. They have a fabulous fitness program which includes a Silver Sneakers program with personal trainers, fitness center,chair yoga, creative movement, morning stretch, tai-chi, zumba, line dancing and social dancing. Their Health and Wellness Coordinator schedules great nutrition programs for those who wish to eat healthier.
"As far as travel, we’ve visited the Holy Land in Fla., Memphis TN, Savannah, GA, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and New Orleans. We recently got back from a 13-day Southern Caribbean cruise. We also do day trips to Lancaster, New York and to special lunches within the city. Next year, we're going to Hawaii and there’s still room,” Julia said.
“The center offers something for everyone; sewing, computers, piano, quilting, bingo, movies, parties, special events, a continental breakfast and a nice, hot lunch. If your interested in sign language, English as a second language or even Spanish classes, give us a call,”Julia continued.
“The center helps bring older adults together and out of the house. We welcome everyone.There are people in their 70s and 80s saying they don't want to be around older people because they have a preconceived notion that a senior center is almost like a nursing home but we’re far from a nursing home, we’re a very upbeat, lively center. I guess you could call us recycled teenagers!” Julia exclaims.
Julia is proud to say, “We are known as the WOW of West Philadelphia because when you come through our doors, your first word is Wow. We do our best to keep you moving, keep things exciting and give you the best service possible, so don't just sit at home watching television. Our motto is: If you keep your mind and body active, you can live as long as you want and have as much fun as you want. Come and have fun with us and invite others to come with you.”
Aging with Grace
When granted so many years of life, growing old is natural but growing old with grace is a choice. There is so much wisdom that comes with aging, and so much patience that takes place. To have an opportunity to share those moments with others, learning new languages, traveling to new places, and singing new songs is truly a gift. With the support of the community, the staff, and the members of West Philadelphia Community Senior Center, that gift can continue to be given.