ElderCare of Alachua County UF Academic Health Center
Welcome to the Alachua County Senior Rec Center. In Alachua County Florida, more than 38,000 people are aged 60 or older, and it is estimated that 25 percent of seniors live alone. Many of these seniors become isolated from their friends and community, giving up the activities they once enjoyed. Until recently, Alachua County was one of the few counties in Florida that did not have a dedicated multi-service senior center to serve as an active focal point where seniors can socialize, access services, participate in fun and educational activities, volunteer and stay generally engaged with their peers and the broader community.
Research indicates that this type of isolation can erode the physical, mental and emotional health of seniors, gradually diminishing quality of life and ultimately disaffecting their ability to remain independent. As these dynamics evolve, seniors and their caregivers become more likely to need assistance from the broader community and the already strained long-term healthcare systems.
Studies on seniors show that activities, socialization and enhanced community relationships can prevent depression, decrease feelings of isolation and increase the quality of life. By providing Alachua County’s large community of seniors its first true senior center, this project will have an immediate and significant beneficial impact on the quality of life for today’s seniors and an ongoing impact on tomorrow’s need for long-term care. The Alachua County Senior Rec Center addresses and meets the needs of this growing population of seniors, and it will also help relieve some of the stress placed on the caregiver.
Located in Gainesville, the Alachua Senior Rec Center is a 17,000-square-foot recreation and activity center. ElderCare of Alachua County and other community agency staff coordinate enriching and enjoyable programming for local seniors at the center. It exemplifies the state’s definition of a multi-service senior center, in part, by offering a comprehensive array of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of younger baby boomers, older seniors and their care givers.
The City of Gainesville’s support of the center includes assistance with project development, provision of the location for the facility, maintenance of the grounds and a regional transportation system. ElderCare runs the day-to-day operations and programs for the center.
The Senior Center allows seniors in our area to partake in health education, preventative screenings, physical fitness activities, arts and cultural activities, nutritional services, social and volunteer opportunities and so much more.