Subsidized by State Lottery proceeds, Pennsylvania has some of the best senior centers in the nation.


Every county in Pennsylvania has one or more senior centers. You can locate one near you by clicking the locator here. In Pennsylvania, our senior centers are subsidized by the state lottery proceeds in addition to any private donations they receive. The most difficult barrier to accessing our senior centers is the courage to just walk in the door the first time or sign up for your first virtual program. Once you do, I can almost guarantee that you will visit again later. Senior Centers can be accredited by the National Institute of Senior Centers, and nearly everyone in Pennsylvania has that accreditation. Some, such as the Wayne Senior Center, have won awards from the organization.

Some senior centers are definitely more active than others, but you must first walk in the front door to find the one that is the best fit for you. All have something to offer. Many will request a small yearly donation, but you need not be a member to access most programs offered. There is never a fee to walk in the front door to pick up information, nor is there a fee to sign up for the center’s electronic newsletter. There is never a fee to participate in any program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging. For example, I am currently signed up for a weight loss program that I joined via PALM center in Ardmore. Most senior centers also serve $2.50 lunches, subsidized by our lottery proceeds. I must confess that prior to the pandemic, I might drop into a senior center just for the $2.50 lunch and to pick up a copy of their latest calendar. Some days I would stop in for lunch at Surry’s Havertown Senior Center, other days the Wayne Senior Center, and still other times at New Horizons in Narberth.

While nearly every senior center was forced to limit in-person activities during the pandemic, all are springing back into action. They started virtual programs during the pandemic and it seems they will continue and co-exist with “in-person” programs.

Even if there is a small fee for some events, I can assure you that it is a fraction of what it is worth. Most times you can also bring a guest to a special event. For example, I was my sister’s guest at Wayne Senior Center’s” Chef’s Table” lunches in 2019, and we had an opportunity to sample some of the best cuisine offered on the Main Line. We also had the opportunity to meet the chefs as well as enjoy the company of neighbors.

I could easily fill fifty pages of events sponsored by senior centers in DELCO and MONTCO alone. I encourage you to sign up for some senior center newsletters. Feel free to comment below about your favorite senior center or your favorite senior center program.

tags: community resources

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