Blog Post

PCA senior centers create a sense of community

The excerpt below is taken from PCA’s 2019-2020 Annual Report. To read the full report, click here. You can also download a PDF version by clicking here.

Most mornings, you can find Barbara Jean Morehead walking her little dog down the streets of Fishtown.

By mid-morning, she’s deep in conversation with the crochet circle that meets almost daily inside Lutheran Settlement House, one of combined 28 full-service senior community centers and satellite meal sites sponsored by PCA. It’s where Morehead spends a good portion of her day with friends who also frequent the center, creating a bond that far surpasses fabric and yarn.

“I come here five days a week sometimes,” says Morehead, 81, whose daughter also frequently attends the center. The two are deep in the creation of a handmade woven scarf. “We all get together and talk about life and what’s going on. We stay pretty involved with each other and really enjoy each other’s company for the most part.”

Lutheran, like all of PCA’s sponsored sites, offers more than just companionship and helps to curb social isolation among older adults. There are a host of health and wellness programs, as well as a healthy lunch served daily as part of PCA’s Lunch Spot initiative. Collectively, senior community center programs connected more than 20,000 older adults with meaningful activities last year.

“I like coming here,” says Morehead. “This is my hap­py place. We talk about a lot of things and really look after each other. The people who come here are really close, and we all consider each other like a second family.”

For those who are not fortunate enough to have a family or close social connections, having a place to go where they will feel welcomed is vital. “I feel like this is a place where we can come and build a friendship that at least everyone [here in this circle] takes outside [of this place],” says Morehead. “Just hav­ing a place to get involved makes for a much better community. We have that sense of community here and that to me is very important.”