Hey you seniors! Do you need to sharpen your computer skills so you can communicate with your grandchildren? Dozens of your colleagues are learning the nuances of Windows 8, Facebook and other special websites at the Northshore Senior Center’s computer learning lab in Bothell.
According to the NSC interim director, Danette Klemens, "We help over 100 seniors a month become truly computer savvy – and no longer fear the advanced tablets and notebooks. Plus, they’re learning at a non-competitive pace with other seniors – and receive individual assistance too."
In case you weren’t aware, the Northshore Senior Center located at Riverside Landing (Riverside Drive) in Bothell, is one of the premier senior organizations in the nation. Klemens pointed out, "it earns and maintains the recognition, primarily for the breadth and depth of its activities; always adding new programs tailored to a senior’s community needs. We offer numerous physical and mental improvement classes including the venerable ‘Tai Chee’ and Quigong (Chee kung), Yoga and the energetic Zumba dance and resistance training. It’s quite common to see retirees who are approaching 90 move through numerous advanced programs to keep their mind and muscles in top form."
Meeting the expectations of the 2,800 senior members – from newly retired baby boomers to those of pre-401k – requires continuous evaluation. Many programs embrace the Advanced Wellness concepts of body and mind; such as Brainfitness. Many retirees welcome the center’s family caregiver programs and state approved Adult Day Care Health where chronic conditions are treated with compassion. It serves those who experience physical, mental or social problems associated with a wide variety of disabling conditions. Participants don’t have to be seniors and the center cares for them five hours per day for up to five days per week. Often senior parents or other family of younger retirees are enrolled - thus offering respite for the younger caregivers. Caregiving training is a big part of NSC’s curriculum.
Other courses embrace activities where the member is already somewhat proficient, or wants to be; like creative writing, guitar and piano workshops, a variety show and band or outdoor and recreation groups that bicycle, hike, golf and fly-cast. You name the activity and the center likely can accommodate you! The center’s quarterly catalog is loaded with so many classes and activities the offerings resemble that of a large community college.
The Riverside Drive Campus operates in two buildings. In the Health and Wellness Center on the north side of the street, there is a well-appointed fitness center. Once qualified, members have access to treadmills, stationary bicycles, ellipticals and special training equipment. The Adult Day Care program meets in a large space that also accommodates wedding receptions and corporate gatherings, served by a commercial kitchen.
Across the street, the Senior Center is a beehive of activity with numerous classes and group exercise running simultaneously. It too has a great room space and a commercial kitchen serving weekday lunches. A cozy coffee shop serves up the renowned home-made pies and cookies, including sugar free, made by the volunteer "pie-ladies." And twice a month there is a sumptuous pancake breakfast.
Annually, the center hosts the Holiday Craft Market, the "Ransacked Attic" – yard sale, that draws hundreds of shoppers, and the "Karaoke Bingo Nights."
Klemens points out, "It’s our volunteers who furnish the energy needed to accomplish these multiple events. Just getting the daily hot lunch on the table requires a dozen volunteers. A big event such as the "Ransacked Attic" yard sale needs more than 100 to make it happen. And our senior volunteers are the faces you’ll be greeted by at our Bothell, Kenmore and Mill Creek centers."
The NSC motto: Welcome – come get active with us and enhance your quality of life!
As you’ve seen, the NSC is far more than a place to keep older people busy. The new members become volunteers who bring their friends, build interest in special activities, call others to become involved, attract new and skilled volunteers and help their programs grow.
Senior power is the NSC banner and it has made the center into one of the largest and most active in the country. Have a question? Call the Bothell Center at (425) 487-2441.