Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Winter Haven United States of America
Our community currently offers many programs geared towards our aging population both through the city and other community organizations. Our recreation programs include senior softball, shuffleboard competitions, exercise classes at the Lake Silver Recreation Center, fitness programs in our city park downtown, and classes on chair yoga, tai chi, and line dancing. We also have cultural programs including live music downtown every Friday (Pickin in the Park, Praise in the Park), an art class for Alzheimer’s patients at Side Street Studio, antique car shows downtown, memoir writing classes at the Winter Haven Public Library, and the Cypress Gardens Ski Show on Lake Silver.
Our education programs include CATT/RATH Senior Scholars classes, Polk State Lifelong Learning Program, and the Sage-ing Program (discussions and writing classes). SHINE resources are available throughout the community and help seniors find insurance plans that meet their needs. Our community services to the aging population include volunteer transportation through Elderpoint Ministries as well as door-to-door transportation provided by the Polk County Transit Service, daily meal service through Meals on Wheels, Polk County Elderly Services (caregivers, respite/day care, nutrition, etc.), Lighthouse for the Blind, medical care through the Haley Center and the Angel Care Center, and meals, caregiving, and activities at the Neighborhood Service Center.
Winter Haven plans to become more age-friendly by diversifying both our offerings and our audience. We want to offer more programming for the active and younger senior, and also find ways to engage the inactive senior. We want to provide volunteer opportunities and intergenerational engagement. There is a Volunteer Here organization that is working to achieve these goals. The city wants to diversify the locations where activities are offered, not just at the Lake Silver Recreation Center.
Elder Point Ministries is a non profit that is moving its headquarters to Winter Haven and will assit with transportation, nutrition, home care, and home repair needs. We want to work the schools to offer a social entrepreneurship academy where high school students can work with seniors, teaching them technology skills. There will be cooking classes implemented at the Lake Silver Recreation Center to teach seniors how to cook healthy meals. We want to implement gardening classes through the Master Gardener program. As a community, we need to create a better communication network to disseminate information to our older residents.