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The Village Of Wellington Offers A Growing List Of Programs For Senior Citizens

Serving Seniors

STORY AND PHOTOS BY MEREDITH BUROW

For many senior citizens, getting older can mean a loss of independence, fewer relationships and less social interaction. In the eyes of Wellington Community Services Specialist Jenifer Brito, this is unacceptable. Her job is to help provide for those needs among the local senior community. Having been around seniors since childhood, Brito has seen firsthand the challenges many face on a daily basis. Life continues its onward march, as their pace begins to slow, and their companions start to dwindle. While it isn’t true of all seniors, Brito

has found a general feeling of depression to be common among the elderly. This could be a result of the loss of loved ones, limited mobility and a lack of social interaction. It is Brito’s mission to help the seniors in Wellington overcome these challenges and thrive as the valuable members of society she knows them to be. “Many of them come in, and they are seeking help, and they don’t know what they’re looking for, but they know they’re looking for something,” Brito said. “When I meet with them, I try to

(L-R) Phyllis Hildebrand, Marlene Sacks and Bobbie Parker gear up to play canasta in the Wellington Community Center Senior Lounge.

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gauge what that is, and I find out what their likes are, what their dislikes are, and how I can plug them into things.” While working with — and for — seniors, Brito discovered that as people age, one of their crucial needs is to have sufficient social interaction. This, Brito explained, is a necessity of great importance. “I don’t think at any age that’s different,” Brito said.“We all want to have that, whether you’re 90 or six.” For this reason, Brito has taken on a number of projects to help initiate social opportunities for the senior population. The new Feel Good Fridays program is one such opportunity. Partnering with Baptist Health South Florida,Wellington’s Community Services Department has been bringing in instructors for exercise classes catered to seniors — such as dance and chair yoga. They have also added an educational component — a lecture following the classes presented by a visiting doctor. “This is a new initiative that we started on Fridays because we saw that Fridays were an open day where we were able to engage the seniors and get them into the Wellington Community Center with programing,” Brito said. The best part? Participants are invited to attend Feel Good Fridays absolutely free.This goes for both Wellington residents and non-residents. In order to offer classes to seniors at no cost,Wellington has partnered with a

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WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – January 2020  

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WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – January 2020  

January 2020 | ON THE COVER Polo 10-goaler Facundo Pieres, profiled this issue, in action on the polo field. Photo by Alex Pacheco | High-Go...