Town Square Senior Center holds official opening

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BRICK TOWNSHIP — The ribbon was cut to signify the opening of a first of its kind elderly daytime care center, Town Square Senior Center, located in Laurel Plaza off Route 88. The owner, Kevin Herman, did the honors.

“The mayor said it’s yours ‘you cut it’ and actually I didn’t expect it, so it means a lot,” said Mr. Herman. “It makes it hit home that this facility is mine. It took four years to plan this and for it to happen through the pandemic, it makes it all come together.”

Members of the Brick Township Council, as well as staff from Senior Helpers and their families gathered on July 14 to tour and celebrate the opening of the 1950’s styled adult day enrichment senior center. The grand opening included food and beverages along with live vocal renditions of rock and pop hits from the 50’s.

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The indoor facility is modeled after a 50’s era town including a theater, a vintage car, newsstand, a retro diner, hair salon, art studio, and music, leisure and educational rooms.

“It’s a day program and the importance of it is that it gives respite to family members who don’t know what to do,” said Mr. Herman.

“The design followed the kind of activities we wanted to do that we thought would bring the most out of our members… We wanted to keep our members engaged and for our members with Alzheimer’s and dementia we want to see how we can bring out what’s left by following what their strengths are. That drove a lot of this. To help independent people socialize and for those living through disease processes, to help them be able to socialize in ways that they can’t unless you are engaging with them.”

The facility intends to utilize reminiscence therapy for seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition, plans to educate seniors and their families on finances and strategies for the effects of aging are intended to take place in the family education center at the location.

Linda Panarella, director of business development and care specialist, who will be organizing the features of the educational center explained “what we find is that people don’t plan accordingly for aging so when something happens and it’s a critical issue then there’s an emergency situation and they might make a decision they may not have normally made and their choices might be diminished. So if we plan in advance that’s a great thing for people who are aging.”

“When we have information we can better make choices about our life, and we can plan for things and so that kind of opportunity for them to learn about all different aspects of aging is going to make a change in the way that they can approach things that people don’t want to think about and things that people don’t want to talk about,” Ms. Panarella said.
The center is now open to the public and intends not only to enrich the lives of the elderly but their families as well.

“The education center is another whole piece to this,” said Mr. Herman. “That’s for anyone in the community who wants to learn about Alzheimers and dementia. Again, it’s a chance to give back and teach people how to interact with those who are suffering from this.”

Mayor John G. Ducey, who attended the grand opening told The Ocean Star, “The services they provide are invaluable but what sets this place apart is the manner that they provide those services. It places the seniors right back to Main Street USA in the 1950’s. This will really help our caregivers in town get a little break while the senior gets to enjoy him or herself getting their hair cut, playing billiards, bocce or cornhole, eating ice cream or playing and listening to music and so much more. It’s a win/win for people with the need for adult daycare.”

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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