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'It's a big family' at senior centers
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Clients at Liberty County Adult Daytime Care play a version of The Price is Right with healthy food items. - photo by Photo by Tiffany King

At 78, Gordon Hughes is adjusting to a new family, a big family.

The Midway resident is getting used to the people at the Liberty County Adult Daytime Care center, which he calls "a nice place."

"We don’t fight each other or anything like that. It’s a big family," he said.

The center is run by Senior Citizens Inc. and is in the Hazel Carter Senior Citizens Center in James Brown Park.

Patti Lyons, president of Senior Citizens Inc., said the program aims to help people age successfully. The center offers seniors, 55 and up, a variety of programs to meet individual and changing needs.

Senior Citizens Inc., a non-profit founded in Savannah, has been around for almost 60 years. The Hinesville location has been open for eight years.

"About eight years ago, we started serving residents of Liberty County and it’s been a joy," Lyons said. "We offer home-delivered meals with our Meals on Wheels program. We have this phenomenal neighborhood center where folks can come out, hangout with their friends, have lunch, socialize, go on field trips."

She said the center has retained 75 percent of its clients since it opened.

The center accommodates people who are frail, and specializes in dementia. Individualized care plans are implemented when the staff partners with a person’s family and doctor.

People recovering from a stroke or surgery can also use the adult daycare short- or long-term .

The facility is run by registered nurse Chrislene Nelson-Taylor

"So if someone has a concern and their struggling to age successfully, they want to stay at home, then need some help, all they have to do is call us," Lyons said. "We work with them to give them everything they need so they can live the best life possible."

Recently, SCI received $10,000 to add more people to Meals on Wheels and lunch at the center.

"We’re looking for people, older adults, who are homebound that might need our Meals on Wheels program, but it also gave us an opportunity to have more clients and more folks come to the senior center," Lyons said. "We’re trying to get the word out that this is a great place to come."

SCI offers transportation to and from the center from anywhere in Liberty County.

Lyons said someone will pick them up and bring them to the center for a day of fun, for lunch and "have a really full life."

Lyon said getting seniors out their homes to socialize with friends is guaranteed to extend someone’s life.

Seniors do activities every day. The day begins with breakfast, followed by a quiet activity, such as reading. Activities during the day might include music and dancing, games and puzzles, discussion of current events, arts and crafts and visits from outside groups.

Lunch is a portioned, healthy meal, such as lemon-baked fish, salmon croquette, pot roast au jus, vegetables, fruits and dessert.

After lunch are exercises and more activities.

Seniors are not allowed to watch too much TV, Lyons said, because they can do that at home. It is permitted on special occasions, such as the recent presidential inauguration. The seniors were encouraged to stand and sing the national anthem.

After the ceremony they played Price is Right, guessing the price of healthy food items.

If the seniors participate in activities they earn "funny money" to buy toiletries and snacks from from the "needs closet."

SCI also provides information, ranging from what to do if their refrigerator stops or if they face eviction.

"We work with people through that whole spectrum," she said. "And if we could get them hooked into our services they can live a longer, happier life and that’s our goal for everyone."

Hughes, the client from Midway, said one of his favorite activities is coloring. He said other started coloring after seeing his pictures.

"In my case, it takes me away from the house when no one is there," he said. "I can get something to eat here. If I don’t want to, I can go out in the lobby, sit and read a book and we can walk out there in the field also. It’s always nice to come here."

The center is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. For more information, call center 912-876-0056.

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