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Welcome to the Senior Resource Connect blog. You can visit the blog each Wednesday at 10am for the latest information about aging, caregiving, COVID, and local resources.

Spotlight: Ypsilanti Township 50 & Beyond

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September is National Senior Center Month! We’re celebrating by featuring a different senior center each week on the blog for the month of September. Senior centers play a huge role in our community by providing enrichment and entertainment during the workday, acting as a connector between community members and resources, and helping older adults age in place. We may have certain things come to mind when we think of senior centers, but no two are exactly alike. We’re kicking off the series this week with an interview with Nichole Passmore, Recreation Coordinator for the Ypsilanti Township 50 & Beyond Program.  


Senior Resource Connect: If you had to give an elevator speech about what your organization does, how would you describe it?  

Nichole Passmore: The Ypsilanti Township 50 & Beyond program serves over 800 adults, ages 50 and up, in Ypsilanti Township and the surrounding areas. We provide numerous opportunities for our members to stay physically and socially active through a variety of programs in recreation, leisure, continued education, health and volunteerism. From the world traveler to the casino lover, the card player to the crafter, the yoga enthusiast to the line dancer, we strive to offer something for everyone.  

We serve lunch daily here at our Community Center as part of Washtenaw County’s Senior Café Program. Ypsilanti Township 50 & Beyond also connects older adults to community resources. In cooperation with local agencies, we work to inform and aid older adults in finding the services they need. Everything from tax help, insurance needs, locating food pantries, obtaining transportation, and tracking down the medical equipment they need are just some of the things for which we provide assistance.  


SRC: Walk me through the step-by-step process. What happens when you get a phone call/referral?  

NP: When I get an inquiry, I first gather basic information from the person as well as determine the services they are seeking. From there we work together to determine what the best course of action will be, if I am able to provide assistance or connect them with another agency. I then provide them with the necessary contact information and then follow up later to ensure they found the help they were seeking.  


SRC: What organizations do you work closely with?  

NP: The Ypsilanti Township 50 & Beyond program partners with local agencies and organizations such as Focus Hope, Catholic Social Services, the Area Agency on Aging 1B, Turner Senior Wellness Program, Hope Clinic, and the Housing Bureau for Seniors, just to name a few, as well as other area senior centers and senior living communities. We are always seeking new ways to work together with community partners to provide our members and our community with the best support possible.  


SRC: What are some things you wish the public knew about your role?  

NP: I entered this role on the tails of the pandemic, and I think one of the most important things I can share is how vital our services are in supporting older adults in our community. Social, emotional, and mental health are just as important as physical health and Senior Centers play a vital role in providing all four. I think one of the most moving things about our Community Center is how it is more than just a gathering place, every day we work to connect older adults to vital community services to help them stay healthy and independent.  


SRC: What tips do you have for someone with a loved one that could benefit from visiting a senior center?  

NP: If your loved one is reluctant to join a Senior Center, take a day and visit together. Call ahead and see what day might offer the activities your loved one most enjoys. Or make an appointment with the Center’s director to receive a tour and ask questions. Walking into a new place with someone you know can often make it feel more comfortable and less intimidating. 


SRC: Is there anything you would like to add?  

NP: The Ypsilanti Township 50 & Beyond program is open to anyone ages 50 & up and it is not required to be a resident of Ypsilanti Township. Our members are some of the warmest and most welcoming people you will ever meet and we strive to make everyone that enters feel like part of our family. Our yearly membership fee ranges between $15-$20 for individuals and $25-$35 for households. Benefits of membership include discounts on classes, special member only events, free drop-in clubs and activities, access to our fitness center, monthly newsletter, use of our game room, group travel discounts and so much more! 

 Thank you so much to Nichole for sharing all that the Ypsilanti Township 50 & Beyond Program has to offer! You can learn more by visiting the program’s website.   

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