Approximately 190,000 senior citizens utilize the many programs and services offered by the Department of Senior Enrichment. The Town of Hempstead has 100 senior citizen clubs and 15 centers, which are open five days a week. Social, recreational and educational opportunities are provided. Membership is free. Activities and services include: physical fitness classes, humanities discussions, current events, history, music, arts and crafts, dance, piano lessons, showtime, painting, ceramics, sewing, needlecraft, macramé, sculpture, calligraphy, creative writing, poetry, shuffleboard, bowling, billiards, bingo, cards, intergenerational programs, luncheons, parties and trips. A variety of cultural and educational programs, films and speakers are also available. The centers offer blood pressure screenings, health programs, income tax assistance and Vial of Life programs.
SERVICES AND PROGRAMS PROVIDED THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF SENIOR ENRICHMENT
Creative Writers Workshop
The Creative Writers Workshop helps to inspire and develop the artistic abilities of seniors who wish to fulfill a lifelong ambition to write. Workshop participants compose original poems, short stories, and memoirs and have an opportunity to share their writings with the community at the conclusion of the 16-week workshop. The group meets Wednesdays at 1 PM at the Merrick Senior Center, 2550 Clubhouse Road in Merrick. Call the Department of Senior Enrichment for further information at (516) 485-8100.
EASEL - Experienced Art Students Enrichment League
For senior artists who enjoy painting and are interested in joining a daytime art league, the Town of Hempstead offers a program called EASEL (Experienced Art Students Enrichment League).
EASEL holds meetings every Tuesday at 1:00 PM at the Oceanside Senior Center, 2900 Rockaway Avenue, Oceanside. They will include art demonstrations, field trips, workshops, discussions, and, most importantly, an opportunity for members to meet and work with fellow artists. In addition, annual art exhibitions are planned. There is no charge for membership and members are requested to provide their own painting material. To become a member of EASEL, or for more information, please call the Department of Senior Enrichment at (516) 485-8100 or Oceanside Senior Center at 766-8888.
The 2017 EASEL Exhibits are scheduled as follows:
March 1st to March 30th - Rockville Centre Public Library (Meet the Artists reception on March 5th, from 2 to 4 PM)
May 1st to May 30th - Hempstead Town Hall (Meet the Artists reception on May 9, from 12 Noon to 2 PM)
October 1st to October 30th - East Meadow Public Library (Meet the Artists reception on October 1st, from 2 to 4 PM)
FLU Immunization Program
Hempstead Town, in cooperation with area hospitals, provides an annual flu immunization program for resident seniors, age 55 or older, at various senior centers. Flu vaccines are provided with no out of pocket cost to the seniors. The administrating hospital will bill insurance companies; however, there will be no co-payments for those receiving flu shots. You may register at any of the town's senior centers beginning in October. For further information, please call Senior Enrichment's Information and Referral Service at (516) 485-8100.
The 2017 Flu Vaccination Program is scheduled for November. Dates will become available in the fall.
Golden Learning Opportunities (GLO)
GLO is an innovative program designed to encourage town seniors to continue their quest for knowledge and provide new and interesting means for them to widen their intellectual and artistic horizons. The sessions welcome interaction between program presenters and participants and become a forum for seniors to express their ideas based on accumulated knowledge and past experiences.
GLO is open to all seniors in the Town of Hempstead. Those interested in participating need not be a member of a senior center or club. GLO is held once a month on a Wednesday at 1 PM at a rotating schedule of senior centers. Contact the Department of Senior Enrichment for further details at (516) 485-8100.
Blood pressure screenings performed by a registered nurse are available at all senior centers. Each June, the department hosts an annual Health and Wellness Fair for senior citizens at Lido Beach Town Park. The fair offers a number of free health screenings, important medical and financial-related information and referral services to senior residents. The 2017 Health Fair is scheduled to be held at Lido Beach Town Park on June 8th, from 10 AM to 2 PM.
The Department of Senior Enrichment recognizes that we can maintain a good quality of life through healthy lifestyles. Healthy Lifestyles is a program of health education and promotion for older people. It focuses on the needs of seniors and helps to promote important lifestyle and behavior changes that can maintain or improve health and independence within the senior population, having a positive effect on the quality of life of its participants.
Healthy Lifestyles is designed to bring renewed interest in learning about health, through a curriculum which is comprehensive, interdisciplinary, experiential and creative. Seniors will be challenged, motivated and drawn into the curriculum as positive health attitudes replace negative ones. Healthy Lifestyles aims to promote the self-esteem and decision-making skills that enable older people to adopt healthy attitudes and engage in more positive behaviors. The target population of this program is seniors age 55 and over who attend senior clubs and centers and reside within the Town of Hempstead.
Information & Referral
This service links senior citizens with resources that are available to them in areas of housing, health needs, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, and individual and group counseling. Staff assess clients' needs and make arrangements necessary to facilitate the delivery of services. For assistance, please call the Town of Hempstead Information and Referral Office at (516) 485-8100.
Senior Enrichment offers seniors a comprehensive range of nutritional services, including the hot meal program, offered at most centers. For information please call (516) 485-8100.
Senior Day Care Programs
A program designed to meet the needs of the at-risk elderly who, because of physical or health frailties, cannot participate in the daily senior center. The program provides light recreation, exercise, games, crafts, and a hot lunch in a congenial atmosphere designed to put participants at ease and promote new friendships. This program will provide socialization as well as emotional support for the participants. For information call (516) 485-8100.
Summer Beach Program
The 10-week Senior Summer Beach program is free and runs Monday through Friday at Lido Beach Town Park, from 10 AM to 3 PM. At Lido Beach, organized activities, including crafts, painting, line dancing, movies, games, and presentations are offered in an air-conditioned building. Health services, including blood pressure screenings, are offered. The highlight of each day is special live entertainment under an outdoor tent. Outdoors giant-sized mushroom shelters ensure maximum comfort for picnicking. The 2017 Senior Summer Beach program begins Monday, June 26th and runs weekdays (except July 4th) through September 1st, from 10 AM to 3 PM. The town provides senior residents with free bus transportation to Lido Beach Town Park from appointed senior centers on specified days or free parking passes for those who prefer to drive. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch, but refreshments are also available for a fee on program days.
President's Recognition Day is held at Town Hall each May in honor of Senior Citizen's month. Various holiday parties, bazaars, installation lunches and variety shows are scheduled throughout the year.
An integral part of the senior program are the mini-buses and vans which provide seniors with needed transportation between their homes and local senior centers. Additional services provided to senior center members include shopping, banking, swimming at Echo Park, inter-center shuffleboard tournaments, limited handicapped transportation to senior day care programs. Additional transportation to the summer beach program and other special events is provided.
Vial of Life
The Vial of Life provides rescue units and emergency service personnel with easy and quick access to vital personal and medical information. Often when medical personnel responds to an emergency at a senior citizen's residence they are unable to act immediately because they do not know what medications the person is taking or other vital information. This program addresses that problem.
A Vial of Life decal posted on the inside of the participant's front door alerts emergency medical personnel that the resident is a program participant. An emergency medical information form is placed inside The Vial of Life container which is kept inside the participant's refrigerator. Participants may also place a Health Care Proxy form in the Vial of Life container. The health care proxy form allows seniors to choose a person or persons to make medical decisions on their behalf should they become unable to make their own medical decisions.
For a free Vial of Life kit, call the Department of Senior Enrichment at (516) 485-8100.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
The Department of Senior Enrichment, in cooperation with the IRS, trains volunteers to assist residents with limited income preparation of federal and state income tax returns. Volunteers are assigned to local public libraries and senior citizen centers during the tax season. The 2017 VITA Program has concluded. To become a VITA volunteer or receive tax preparation assistance, please contact the Department of Senior Enrichment at (516) 485-8100.