Hillsborough County officials have finally figured out what to do with two of the 33 total recreational centers in the county. Both centers have been sitting vacant since a county-wide consolidation down to 10 regional centers. The County wants to bring a Senior Adult Day Care Center, residents ages 60 and up, to the Bloomingdale West Recreation Center located at 3490 Canoga Park Dr. in Brandon. A proposal for the North Lakes area is also planned.

The center would run under the direction of Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department (PRC) and County Aging Services and would make use of a partnering agency to care for some of the needs of its elderly participants. During a public meeting, Hillsborough County Adult Day Care programs manager, Mary Jo McKay, explained some of the benefits of the program such as comprehensive health and social services as well as support and therapeutic services for seniors and functionally-impaired adults in a community-based setting. “It is designed to keep seniors living in their communities as long as possible by means of giving support and a respite to caregivers,” McKay said.

PRC director, Jack Carlisle, mentioned that while the department will engage in a partnership with agencies supporting the project, the rest of the facility will remain as it is used currently.

“The outdoor parks facilities will function as they have in the past, but there will be more of a Hillsborough County presence,” Carlisle said.

Bloomingdale West resident, Sue Stein, spoke highly of the County’s plan to open a senior center within her community. “I moved to this area only a few months ago and I just want to thank the County for their efforts on behalf of our senior residents,” Stein said.

County officials said that the majority of the details, including cost, staffing and specific daily programs still need to be worked out. Residents can anticipate taking part in activities such as arts and crafts, birthday and holiday parties, dancing, exercise, games, guest speakers, intergenerational activities and music as well as poetry reading and writing just to name a few. At both centers, County officials said that they are looking to a partner agency to provide some staff that would include an LPN and a CNA along with a case manager and a center manager. If approved, the program would most likely operate Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org for more information or call Aging Services at 272-5250.



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