Atascadero Senior Center provides local residents with resources and services • Atascadero News

The Center is currently asking the community for help in the form of donations and volunteers

Atascadero — Located on East Mall adjacent to Sunken Gardens, the Atascadero Senior Center has been helping seniors in the community since the mid-seventies. The Senior Center, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is run entirely by volunteers.

Ranger Bodacious Beach Dog. contributed photo

“One of the main things we offer is group activities. We try to bring people together to have fun, hang out and socialize. Most people I guess know this, but one of the biggest contributors to things like dementia is lack of socialization. So we’re really trying to reach older people,” said John Crippen, who shares office manager duties with his wife.

The Center offers things like movie groups, Tai Chi classes three mornings a week, a Bunco group on Mondays, chair yoga, and a discussion group that talks about random topics every week. The Center is also looking to start a new walking group.

Get through this together, Atascadero

“One of the things we’re trying to do is try to get more volunteers to run groups and start new ones. We have multiple venues, so we can have more than one band at a time,” Crippen continued.

The Senior Center is currently looking for people to help run the front desk, which is open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, so people can come to the Center to sign up for groups and find out more about what’s on offer. They are also looking for people who can help maintain their building which was built in 1948. Unfortunately, the Center also recently lost its grantmaker and has had difficulty obtaining financial assistance ever since.

“Someone who could write for us on a pro bono basis would be extremely helpful,” Crippen said. “There are several reasons why funding has become really difficult. We were hurting before COVID, but with COVID shutting us down for a while, we’ve lost members, we’ve lost some funding and staff, and we kind of have to rebuild.

In addition to providing group activities for local seniors, Atascadero Senior Center lends assistive materials, has access to federal, state, and local resources, provides members with a small lending library, and partners with Meals That Connect. You can even give Ranger the Bodacious Beach Dog tummy massages on Mondays.

To make cash donations to the Atascadero Senior Center, you can deposit or send checks payable to SCUI (Senior Citizens United Inc) at 5905 East Mall, Atascadero.

To learn more and view the Atascadero Senior Centers calendar of events, visit their Facebook page here.