Group considers senior center in Fuquay-Varina

aramos@newsobserver.comMay 24, 2013 

  • If you go

    A public workshop about the possibility of building a senior center in Fuquay-Varina will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at 121 N. Main St.

— The town’s senior-citizen population has more than doubled since 2000, according to U.S. Census data.

In response to the increasing needs of adults 55 and older, the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce has formed a subcommittee to look into building a senior center downtown.

The committee is hosting a public workshop at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the chamber office at 121 N. Main St. to gather information about the potential project.

“We want to know if there’s interest and what services people want,” said Lynanne Fowle, the chamber’s director of member services and a member of the subcommittee.

Fuquay-Varina already offers programs and activities for seniors, such as Wii bowling. But the town does not have a building dedicated for older residents.

Fowle hopes that if there is enough interest from the community, the town could enter into a public-private partnership to build a senior center.

In 2000, Fuquay-Varina had 1,490 residents ages 55 and older, representing about 20 percent of the town’s total population. The town now has 3,596 seniors, representing about 19 percent, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

Fowle said she has noticed a gap in services in town between active healthy seniors and those who are in nursing homes or assisted-living centers. There is a group in the middle that’s being left behind – those who need access to the resources and social network that senior centers typically provide, Fowle said.

“I’d love to see a place where seniors can go for a cup of coffee and a game of cards, but could also provide some type of respite program for caregivers,” she said. “I’m afraid that by the time we get to that age, if we don’t start now, there won’t be anything for us.”

A senior center could also serve as an information hub for financial, medical and social resources, she said.

Currently, there are groups such as churches that operate their own programs, but there is no one-stop resource for everyone.

“It would be nice to be able to help some of these programs grow,” Fowle said.

For more information about the subcommittee, call 919-552-4947.

Ramos: 919-460-2609

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