Claire Redmond has been preparing her whole life for her role as the Chairman of the Holliston Council on Aging, but she was doing if for the love of people not the job title.
"I was on the executive council of the AARP, the Mass Workforce Investment Board, and a professor at the University of Rhode Island training auditors to give testimony," Redmond said.
Having always been involved in elder affairs, and with a long work history involving the elderly, Redmond was a natural fit to take over the helm of the Holliston Senior Center.
"This is a very challenging time with the boomers coming of age," Redmond said. "The boomers are currently aged 47 to 65, which means there is a long road of balancing multi-generations ahead."
Trends in elder care are changing with increased life expectancy, and the mindset of this large generation, according to Redmond.
"Many are working until they are 70 or beyond ," Redmond said. "But the truth is retirement age is up to each individual person, and many are actively involved in the workforce and the care of their families long beyond their 70th birthday."
Redmond has worked hard to encourage the development of future programs that will draw the boomers in.
"There are two questions folks ask as they near their 55th birthday," Redmond explained. "Do I reinvent myself or do I continue to stay engaged and grow where I am."
With three generations of seniors currently members of the senior center population, Redmond and others on the board are working to make sure they have programs that appeal to all groups.
"We offer 22 programs and activities, we have 11 groups and activities for every taste," Redmond said. "The biggest change is that we have added exercise classes. This is a huge draw for those still working, particularly if the classes are in the evening."
The center is currently home to all three generations of seniors, but the board is working hard to draw in the 55 crowd. With most still working, this is not always an easy task.
"Our population is fairly balanced between the three populations; 55 to 64, 65 to 74 and 75 and up," Redmond said. "We are encouraging more 55's to come in with new programming and exercise classes, but the other groups are also living in a changing world and have higher expectations for programming."
If you will soon be blowing out 55 candles, Redmond suggests you come for lunch at the center and bring a friend. In fact, regardless of your age, if you haven't popped in lately, stop for a meal.
"We want folks to come in for lunch," Redmond said. "This is where a lot of connections are made, and it is a good opportunity to learn more about not just the person sitting next to you and the center, but also what's available. It's also a terrific opportunity to get out of the house and share a meal with others."
Regardless of age or life situation, one thing seems clear, people need people and the Holliston Senior Center has much to offer.
To learn more about the offerings, to schedule a visit, or to come for a meal, go to www.hollistonseniorcenter.org