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Many senior centers offer fitness classes in addition to other programs and services. (Photo by Susan Lambert/Zip06.com )
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Retirement is a luxury that we all strive for; the time to sit back, relax and revel in the life that you have worked so hard to create. The kids are grown (if you have them), your professional drive for excellence has been met (hopefully), and now it's time for you to explore and hone all the fun and exciting parts of life that you haven't had time for previously. Luckily, here in coastal Connecticut there is a lot to do when you are retired.
Canoe Brook Senior Center
11 Cherry Street, Branford, 203-315-0687
For seniors who are still independent, the Canoe Brook Senior Center offers a plethora of programs, trips, and services for Branford residents who are 60 years and older. Transportation services include the senior center daily, medical appointments, and shopping trips. Lunch is served on weekdays, and a suggested donation of $3 is requested. Membership to the center costs $8 per year. For more information, visit branford-ct.gov/canoebrook.
Connecticut Valley Camera Club
Take a shot at getting involved with the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (no experience necessary), which is open to people of all ages. Many seniors have found taking photos is a new passion, one they have only had time for since retiring and the camera club is a perfect way to get involved with others who share your same desires. It meets monthly on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Senior Center. It regularly has guest speakers and there are planned monthly photo shoots throughout the state. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Estuary Council of Seniors
220 Main Street, Old Saybrook, 860-388-1611
The Estuary Council of Seniors is a community resource for the residents of Chester, Clinton, Essex, Deep River, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook who are over 50 and looking for fun social experiences. In addition to activities, the Estuary Council provides nutritional information, transportation, health support services, education opportunities, fitness programs, and Meals on Wheels for homebound individuals. There are also four café sites serve hot lunches during the week. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guilford Senior Chorus
Guilford Community Center
32 Church Street, Guilford, 203-453-8086
Meets weekly on Monday mornings at 11 a.m. for one hour. The group concentrates on different musical pieces and changes composers from time to time. All are welcome to come sing away an hour, have fun, and be part of a musical community of like-minded people.
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center
36 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, 860-434-1974
Senior volunteers are always welcome at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center. (No horse experience is necessary). Volunteers are always needed at High Hopes in a number of different capacities including: class working with individuals with physical and mental disabilities, horse handlers (to lead horses of varying sizes in classes), side walkers, barn help, office help (filing, making phone calls, decorating for events) fundraiser and annual gala auction help, and more. For more information, visit highhopestr.org.
Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore
61 Goodspeed Drive, Westbrook
Looking to give back during your retirement and volunteer? Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) is a great way to do just that. Providing one-to-one tutoring in English literacy skills at no cost to people in the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook, LVVS works to help individuals achieve their literacy goals with the help of the community. It is a great way to give back, stay connected to the community, and feel needed, worthwhile, and relevant. For more information, visit lvvs.org.
Madison Senior Center
29 Bradley Road, Madison, 203-245-5627
Offering a myriad of activities for those 60 plus, the Madison Senior Center is the hub of activity in town for seniors looking to stay lively, energetic, and communal.
Offering scheduled bus trips, travel adventures, exercise programs, free hearing clinics, yoga, Tai Chi, crafting, friendly card games including poker and bridge, bocce, bingo on the second Wednesday of the month, tech support classes, Monday movie matinees, canasta on Tuesdays, and Monday and Wednesday walking groups, the Madison Senior Center has something for everyone. For more information, visit madisonct.org.
Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education
100 Training Hill Road, Middletown, 860-434-5800
The Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education offers adults 50 and over the opportunity to choose from a wide array of classes for one low rate of $60 per year. This is a way to keep one's mind sharp and learn new skills. Courses are often held at Middlesex Community College during the fall and spring semester and classes are also held over the summer. For more information, visit mxcc.edu/ce/lifelong-learning.
Old Lyme Senior Center
26 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, 860-434-1605
The Old Lyme Senior Center offers a myriad of different activities and programs for seniors 55 and older, including hearing clinics, Latin ballroom and line dancing, Wii bowling, yoga, bridge, and Tai Chi. For more information, contact email@example.com.
The Shoreline Institute for Lifelong Learning (SSILL)
Guilford Community Center
32 Church Street, Guilford, 203-453-8086
If you are looking for the opportunity to keep on learning, then SSILL is the place for you. It offers intellectual programs for retired and semi-retired citizens of Guilford and Madison who love to learn and expand their knowledge base. Membership is open to all adults looking to enjoy a few hours of intellectual and social stimulation.
Offering daytime academic programs in a wide variety of interests, SSILL's objective is to offer college level classes without concern for credits or grades. For more information, visit ssill.org.
Valley Shore YMCA
201 Plains Road, Westbrook, 860-399-9622
Keeping fit, active, and social is what it's all about at Valley Shore YMCA, which offers discounted membership for seniors (check to see if your Medicare insurance covers your membership). Several classes to keep the muscles moving and joints jiving are offered weekly such as Silver Sneakers classes. There is also a Delay the Disease class, which requires sign-up and is focused on exercises specifically for those with Parkinson's disease. Additional senior classes include golden waves aquatic classes, Twinges in the Hinges classes, yoga, Tai Chi, and balance.
For more information, visit vsymca.org.
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