Health and Fitness

Tallahassee is a regional medical center serving a large area of the Florida Big Bend. The core of Tallahassee’s medical services are its two outstanding hospitals, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and Capital Regional Medical Center, as well as the award winning Leon County Emergency Medical Services. The only local HMO in the Tallahassee area, Capital Health Plan is ranked top in the nation by the NCQA. As a regional medical center, Tallahassee is home to a full range of highly trained primary care and specialist physicians. The Florida State University College of Medicine and the other Tallahassee public and private universities emphasize the training of primary care doctors and allied medical care personnel. The Tallahassee medical community is Medicare friendly and supports the life style of today’s active retirees through the most modern preventive and therapeutic medicine.

Senior Center

Getting involved is as easy as a visit to the Tallahassee Senior Center. Think it is for the sedentary? Think again. The Senior Center is for anyone over 50 and serves up a menu of exciting opportunities for lifelong learning and activity.

Interested in art? Classes are offered in watercolor, pastels, oils, acrylics, landscapes and more. Artwork by mature artists living in Tallahassee and the surrounding area is displayed in three galleries at the Center and in a juried showcase. Woodcarving, ceramics, crafting, quilting, model ship building and working with clay are only a few of the craft courses available. When it comes to health and fitness, there are classes galore to fit every ability and need. In addition to regular exercise classes, the Center offers yoga, Tai Chi and Zumba. Discussion groups on books, current events, creative writing and languages (French, Spanish and German) provide even more outlets for inquiring minds.

Like to travel? In 2011 alone, the Senior Center organized trips to the Gulf of Mexico for dolphinwatching as well as to the Canadian Rockies, New England, Ireland and the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu.

Barbershop quartet, guitar, folk music, senior singers, bridge and ballroom, contra and line dancing are among other opportunities offered by the Center.

If this doesn’t whet your appetite — consider that this is just a short menu of all that is going on. Talk to anyone who is involved and they will tell you the Senior Center is the best thing that has happened to them. Learn more at www.talgov.com/seniors.

Senior resources

The Tallahassee-Leon County community is fortunate to have a host of senior service organizations to assist individuals, caregivers, and adult children with a broad array of services and needs.  The aging network, consisting of service providers, home health organizations, adult living communities, skilled care facilities, elder law attorneys, senior real estate experts, builders, financial planners, and many other senior-focused professionals meets monthly to share information and learn new ways to best serve our senior population.

Any of the following non-profit organizations will be happy to help you connect with the services and information you need.

Alzheimer’s Project Inc.: Volunteers offer respite care and support to people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and their caregivers.  Newcomers welcome. 850-386-2778, www.alzheimersproject.org.

Area Agency on Aging for North Florida: a nonprofit organization that serves as an aging resource center, Providing information and assistance in linking individuals to resources such as Medicare, Medicaid, Elder Abuse, Health and Wellness, and other programs and services for seniors and their caregivers. aaanf@elderaffairs.org, 800-963-5337

Elder Care Services Inc.: A nonprofit United Way Agency that helps improve the lives of seniors through programs such as Meals on Wheels, adult day care, in-home services, transportation and more. Senior volunteer opportunities also available. 850-921-5554, www.ecsbigbend.org.

Tallahassee Senior Services:  the focal point for active aging and senior resources in the community.  A division of the City of Tallahassee, TSS staffs a professional Resource Coordinator who helps connect individuals, caregivers, and adult children to appropriate services.  850-891-4000, www.talgov.com/seniors.

Additional Senior Information

AARP: National organization.  Anyone age 50 and older may join. www.aarp.org.

AARP Florida Legislative Representative: Legislative advocacy program for state issues affecting Floridians age 50 and over. 866-595-7678, flaarp@aarp.org, www.aarp.org

AARP 55-Alive/Mature Driving Program: The nation’s first and largest classroom driver-improvement course intended to help drivers 50 and older improve their skills while teaching them to avoid accidents and traffic violations. Classes are taught in two, four-hour sessions spanning two days, or one eight-hour class on Saturdays. This class could qualify you for a discount on insurance.  888-AARP-NOW.

Aging with Dignity: This organization strives to provide practical information, advice and the legal tools necessary to ensure that aging loved ones’ wishes will be respected. (888) 594-7437 or 850-681-2010, www.agingwithdignity.org.

Florida Council on Aging: Committed to serving Florida’s diverse aging interests through education, information-sharing and advocacy. 850-222-8877, moreinfo@fcoa.org, www.fcoa.org.

Florida Department of Elder Affairs: The primary state agency responsible for administering human services programs for the elderly. Its purpose is to serve elders in all aspects to help them keep their self-sufficiency and self-determination. Programs include SHINE as well as the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which is a statewide, volunteer organization seeking to ensure the health, safety, welfare and rights of long-term care facility residents. The LTCOP program trains and certifies volunteers to respond to the concerns of, and advocate for, individuals in Florida’s nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult family care homes. All services are confidential and free. (888) 831-0404, 850-414-2000, http:\\elderaffairs.state.fl.us; ombudsman.myflorida.com.

LocalSeniorDiscounts.com: This website serves as a resource for seniors, publicizing special offers from merchants, plus local events and senior-specific information. www.LocalSeniorDiscounts.com.

Social Security Administration: Office hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., 2002 Old St. Augustine Road, Building B, Suite B12, 942-8978, 800-772-1213, or 800-325-0778 TDD, www.socialsecurity.gov.

Tallahassee Memory Disorder Clinic: Free public screenings, diagnosis, care plans plus caregiver training for memory disorders. 850-431-5001, www.tmh.org.

TMH Adult Day Care Services: Services include: nursing care, social activities, recreation and rehabilitation services. 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 850-531- 0712, www.tmh.org.