Oakman Senior Center provides sanctuary away from home

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 9/14/16

OAKMAN — A meal with friends, fun activities and the chance to reminisce about the past — it’s the culture enjoyed by the seasoned community in Oakman at their senior center.

Tuesday morning, the Oakman Senior Center …

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Oakman Senior Center provides sanctuary away from home

Posted

OAKMAN — A meal with friends, fun activities and the chance to reminisce about the past — it’s the culture enjoyed by the seasoned community in Oakman at their senior center.

Tuesday morning, the Oakman Senior Center was buzzing as Cordova Health and Rehabilitation and Comfort Care Hospice team members and volunteers helped to host a ‘50s and ‘60s theme party. Guests enjoyed candies from that time period, punch, snacks and ice cream, and periodically danced to some classic hits.

“You never know what you’re going to find if you come to the senior center,” manager Evelyn Garrett said with a laugh.

On a typical day at the center, seniors may be found playing bingo or mind games, enjoying a game of pool, exercising or perfecting a quilting project. The visitors also enjoy a meal on Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. They occasionally have other theme parties and enjoy when guest singers make a visit to the center.

Garrett says they desperately need transportation to serve meals to a few seniors in the community who aren’t physically able to make it to the center. Having a vehicle would also give more seniors in Oakman that don’t have transportation a chance to visit the center, she says.

“If the state or the county could provide us with transportation, this place would just be swarming with people. That’s our holdup,” Garrett said.

Some of the seniors were recently able to make a visit to tour the Bankhead House & Heritage Center in Jasper, and they want to plan a trip to the Walker County Lake and have a picnic there.

The seniors and Garrett have been busy decorating the center this month to highlight Oakman High School during football season. They currently have some old yearbooks on display and an Oakman quilt some of the women there created.

Garrett said there is no greater reward than spending time with the people who visit the senior center and hearing their insight and memories.

“I just love the center. I love working with them, and I love seeing them get out,” Garrett said. “You get so attached to the people here. ... I love to hear their stories, and I love to reminisce with them.”

The Oakman Senior Center is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.