CareWell Services is proud to partner with local organizations serving seniors in our community, and that includes senior centers. We partner with both Forks Senior Center in Albion and Heritage Commons Senior Enrichment Center in Marshall to support their programs and services for seniors.
Luann Sommers is the director at Forks Senior Center and Kitty Knoll is the manager of Heritage Commons. Both leaders have great passion for their members and the community at large, so we thought it would be fun for you to hear directly from them about their centers.
Q: Why do you think senior centers are important?
Luann: They are a focal point for seniors and community members to gain access to information about resources and programs. They also give older adults a place to come socialize, learn new things, stay active and remain involved in their community.
Kitty: Socialization is important to us all. As people age out of the workforce, senior centers are a nice spot to gather and socialize, learn about community events and participate in activities. It can be about reconnecting or making new friends in a new community.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
Luann: I like the people I talk to each day, and knowing that they leave the center a little happier and more healthy than they arrived feels good. Knowing I made a difference in someone’s day is important to me.
Kitty: That I work where people have a good time. I work to create an environment where they are valued regardless of physical limitations or budgets. Making and scheduling meaningful events and programs for them.
Q: If you had to name one thing or concept that makes a senior center successful, what would it be?
Luann: The people! Having vested members who truly care about the center and are willing to go above and beyond to make things happen. Staff cannot do it alone! I’m the only full-time person here. My two staff members are part time. Without our volunteers we could not cover the center and offer activities.
Kitty: Nothing is more important than making each person feel that they are welcomed by staff, volunteer leaders, and others.