Season of Wishes: Natchez center helps area seniors

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 14, 2014

Natchez seniors enjoy a regular game of Bingo at the Natchez Senior Center. (File photo)

Natchez seniors enjoy a regular game of Bingo at the Natchez Senior Center. (File photo)

NATCHEZ — For some, it’s the hot meals. For others, it’s the opportunity volunteer in the area.

But whatever the reason they have for coming, the Natchez Senior Citizen Multi-purpose Center has the goal of helping the area’s seniors stay engaged and healthy.

The center offers adult day care, home delivery of hot meals, on-site meals, educational and physical exercise programs and helps arrange transportation for the elderly and disabled, among other things.

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Carla Monroe, who works at the center, said it serves approximately 400 individuals in some capacity.

“Many of them are still living on their own, which is a blessing because we serve individuals who are well up in age at this point,” she said.

“Many of them just come to socialize with their friends and enjoy each other’s company — this is their home away from home at this point.”

In addition to the on-site programs, the center helps seniors find opportunities to volunteer around the community if they are still active.

“Volunteers are always needed, and I like the volunteers when they are older than 55,” Monroe said.

The center receives funding from different sources, but it has been reduced several times in recent years, Monroe said.

“We want to make sure there are plenty of activities, to be able to offer them and have them available to (center clients) and keep them active and doing the things they enjoy to do,” she said.

For $63.20, an individual can sponsor meals at the center for a senior for four weeks.

The meals are made with nutrition in mind,” Monroe said.

“They receive an approved dietary lunch every day and a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack if they are here at certain hours,” she said.

Donations of gift cards to local retail stores that can be given to the seniors as needed can also be useful, Monroe said.

“A lot of the people who use the center were working when wages were very low, so Social Security is not going to be that much for them,” she said. “Gift cards would be like money for them, and they can purchase things they would like to have.”

Donations can be mailed or dropped off at the center at 800 Washington St., Natchez MS 39120, or can be made to the Natchez-Adams County Council on Aging through the United Way.

For more information, contact the center at 601-442-5082.