Hillsborough County residents who are 50 years and older can enjoy meeting others, having fun and staying active at the Brandon Senior Center.

Hillsborough County Aging Services offers a multitude of services for residents 50 years and older. The Brandon Senior Center, located at 612 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon, is a perfect example of what the county offers. All services are offered for free. It is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The center has been open since 2001.

Dora Navarrete, senior supervisor at the Brandon Senior Center, said, “We offer a place to gather, learn and enjoy free activities designed for today’s active seniors. Our programs reflect the seven dimensions of wellness: social, emotional, spiritual, financial, environmental, intellectual and physical.”

Examples of the activities offered include friendly coffee and chat exercises, morning walking group, table games, pool table, sewing machine class, Spanish conversational beginner’s class, crochet and chat, beading and jewelry making, garden club, Mama Rosa bingo, inspiration and hope (Spanish), painting club and workshops (healthy eating and photography, for example).

The Brandon Senior Center also has a gym and offers fitness classes through a partnership with SilverSneakers. The center is installing an outdoor senior fitness zone as well.

Navarrete said, “Each new member is provided an orientation by staff of how to utilize the fitness equipment. Fitness classes are either staff/video-led or by a volunteer certified fitness instructor. Every Monday and Wednesday, we have group fitness classes. Additionally, we offer daily inside Sit ’N’ Fit exercises and a walking club. We just finished a tai chi workshop that was presented by Senior Connections.”

In addition, the Brandon Senior Center offers special activities each month. These include birthday parties, fall prevention education, nutrition education, memory games and more.

Residents who are 60 years and older can enjoy a hot meal at 11:30 a.m. from Monday through Friday. Navarrete said, “Aging Services has a registered dietician on staff that works closely with the food vendor to ensure that the meals offered are varied and nutritionally balanced.”

Navarrete added, “We are here to serve the senior community of Hillsborough County. Socializing and taking part in daily activity or staying busy is important to a senior’s overall health. It gives you a reason to get dressed and out the door. We offer plenty of programs to keep clients interested, motivated and satisfied.”

Get registered by calling the Customer Care Team at 813-272-5250. The team will do an evaluation for registration to see if you qualify to receive meals.

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