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Healthy Living center offers seniors aid, companionship

  • Seniors take a class at the Center for Healthy Living in Lynnwood.

    Seniors take a class at the Center for Healthy Living in Lynnwood.

  • The Center for Healthy Living opened in November and serves seniors over 60.

    The Center for Healthy Living opened in November and serves seniors over 60.

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By Deanna Duff, Special to The Herald
  • Seniors take a class at the Center for Healthy Living in Lynnwood.

    Seniors take a class at the Center for Healthy Living in Lynnwood.

  • The Center for Healthy Living opened in November and serves seniors over 60.

    The Center for Healthy Living opened in November and serves seniors over 60.

Everett resident Tony Porciuncula likes to dance into each new week. The 73-year-old and his wife are regular visitors to Lynnwood's recently opened Center for Healthy Living.
The couple partake in services ranging from nutritious meals to health education classes, but they particularly enjoy perfecting their cha cha.
"We do morning exercises and then dance time, such as the rhumba or cha cha," Porciuncula says. "Exercise is a really nice way to start the day and refresh yourself. It's like oxygen for the mind and it inspires me to do more things for the coming day."
The Center for Healthy Living is a collaboration between Senior Services of Snohomish County and the Verdant Health Commission. The new 7,500-square-foot facility opened Nov. 5, and its mission is to educate and engage seniors over 60.
It also serves physically and developmentally disabled individuals 18 years and older.
The center offers onsite services as well as referrals for medical, dental and mental health care. The Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace senior centers are also partners.
"It's been kind of a dream to have more of a satellite facility for south Snohomish County," says Martha Peppones, nutrition director for Senior Services of Snohomish County.
"We've developed new programs, an aging and disability resource center and expanded our multicultural senior center."
In 2014, the Center for Healthy Living projects it will serve more than 2,200 seniors through numerous workshops and classes. The care coordination program provides support to newly discharged hospital patients as they transition home.
Health and wellness programming includes chronic disease self-management for patients with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
For dental, the University of Washington Geriatric Mobile Dental Clinic sees people onsite once or twice weekly during the academic year. Fitness and fall prevention classes are slated to begin in 2014.
"We also have work space available for guest agencies," Peppones says. "For instance, the Alzheimer's Association will have a staff person based out of the center to do community outreach. We'll partner with groups that want more of a presence in Snohomish County, but need a place to park."
Porciuncula is president of the Filipino-American Seniors Association of Snohomish County and particularly thankful for the new location. Upward of 75 members meet weekly at the center -- starting with a coffee social followed by morning exercises and sometimes guest speakers.
"The new center provides us with meeting spaces, and it's one way we can preserve our culture and traditions from the old country," Porciuncula says.
The center also specifically hosts the Chinese, Hispanic, Korean, Vietnamese and Slavic groups. A few of the organizations serve nearly 100 participants a week.
"Sometimes it's a senior's only opportunity to get together with their friends and other people from their country," says Janet Duncan, development director for Senior Services of Snohomish County.
"Our bilingual outreach workers are also there to help connect them to resources, whether it's health care, transition services or financial resources."
Funding for the Center for Healthy Living also includes increased financial support for nutrition services. The new building's kitchen serves catered meals for $3 or what seniors can afford. Culturally specific menus are available for the diverse ethnic communities.
The more convenient access to senior services in south Snohomish County allows individuals, such as Porciuncula, the place and support to continue doing the activities they enjoy -- such as adding tango to their dance cards.
"Sometimes seniors are sort of excluded from things, but here we can look forward to seeing other mature adults we can talk to and feel supported," Porciuncula says.
"There is nutritious food, entertainment and even educational speakers. I'm so thankful to senior services."
Center for Healthy Living
4100 Alderwood Mall Blvd., Lynnwood. For more information, visit
Story tags » LynnwoodClassesWellnessSenior issues

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