AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A city committee created to enrich the lives of senior citizens in Amarillo met for the first time Thursday to start working on this task.
The 21st Century Senior Services Development Advisory Board is made up of community members and foundation representatives working to make senior citizens feel more engaged in the Amarillo community.
This board was not created just for people often described as "elderly."
They're working to find age-specific activities for all older generations to continue to be active in Amarillo.
"We're all aging, and we want to make sure there's somewhere in the community that we can go even when we're not retired or we're 50 or whatever," said Melissa Carter, who was elected to be chairman of this board at Thursday's inaugural meeting. "[We want people to say] oh they've got this great dance class or they've got this poetry class or they've got this great speaker coming in, to bring in that community engagement."
The board is beginning to plan activities and programs that give seniors alternative activities to do outside of a traditional senior center setting.
That could be the first change older citizens see coming their way.
"The public library in essence has actually had a yoga class here and there," said Linda Pitner, Senior Services Coordinator for the City of Amarillo. "So it might be something as simple as that in a neighborhood setting to serve the population."
Board members are also working to break the stereotype that elderly people don't want to go out and have fun.
"We don't want individuals who are aging to be socially isolated," said Carter. "We want them to be engaged and active and enjoy getting out and learning new things. If there's a meal program, then eating healthy meals, volunteering, just really engaging in the community is what is so important."
The board will meet again in March, and encourages people to submit their ideas on how senior life can be transformed in Amarillo.