Of course, we’ve all heard that 40 is the new 20, and now 60 is the new 40, etc.
There’s a reason for that. None of us want to associate aging with inactivity or limited mobility. In general, today’s seniors are far more active than previous generations, thanks to things like increased longevity, Title 9 and a general awareness of living a healthy lifestyle.
Here in southern Delaware, there are plenty of activities and organizations that “cater” to seniors. We’ve outlined opportunities and organizations that cater to the 50+ crowd. Everything from weight training to Bingo and everything in between are right in our neighborhoods. Here’s a guide to get you started.
Despite my research efforts, I can’t tell you what the acronym stands for despite my research, but CHEER has several locations throughout Delaware. Their mission is to provide services such as transportation, meals from Meals on Wheels and social activities for people 50-plus.
Retaining independence as we inevitably age is paramount to CHEER’s purpose. Not only does CHEER provide supplemental assistance to seniors, but it also has an army of volunteers, and they are always looking for more people who can help in one or more capacities. Driving, preparing meals and even simple companionship are possible through volunteering.
The address for the Lewes chapter of CHEER, known as “Harbour Lights CHEER” is 34211 Woods Edge Drive in Lewes, 19958.
Located in Millsboro at 934 Irons Ave, this center has a menu of activities to offer specifically to seniors. Here, you can try water aerobics, join a billiard or golf league, enjoy an affordable lunch (usually $3.50) during weekdays.
They also offer organized bus trips to interesting destinations in Delaware and beyond. Annual membership is $40, so members can take advantage of most adventures at a lower cost than non-members.
Located in the heart of Rehoboth Beach, the Cape Henlopen Senior Center is a hub for active seniors. Their address is 11 Christian Street, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.
Membership is only $30 per year, which buys you access to some of the most interesting activities you’d really never tried. Members get discounts on most tours, and guests are permitted to join (at a higher charge per event). Want to learn that lifelong goal to some day play the ukulele or guitar? How about touring Longwood Garden or New York City during its famous holiday season in December?
The Cape Henlopen Senior Center is not just for residents of Rehoboth. It offers several tours of Delaware’s attractions.
The center also provides several services such as transportation to shopping or medical appointments. Take advantage of other services including Medicare counseling and notary services.
Conveniently located just off Coastal Highway (32083 Janice Road), this recently renovated center has something for everyone. There are yoga and exercise classes, a gym that can be reserved for you personally, a pantry of donated food items, a library of several donated books and more. Very popular is its ceramics studio.
The senior center also provides occasional discounted take-out meals free of charge, and professional advice on filing tax returns – free of charge, and conducted by volunteer accounting and tax professionals. Like the other local senior centers, Lewes Senior Center also provides free transportation for appointments and shopping. Volunteer drivers and events preparation are always welcome.
Membership is $35 annually.
A division of Delaware’ State of Volunteerism, Volunteer 50+ is basically an active clearinghouse for matching senior volunteers with organizations seeking assistance. Most of the organizations it serves are nonprofit, and if you’re familiar with how challenged and understaffed they tend to be, perhaps this is a good fit for you.
Everything from fostering children to handing out water at a running event requires dedicated volunteers. Check it out! There is a bounty of activities in Delaware designed to keep us engaged, enthusiastic and healthy.