Jennifer Martin, WSPA
August 26, 2019
LANDRUM, S.C. (WSPA) – A new community center for seniors opens Tuesday in Landrum.
It will offer free services and meals to seniors with an emphasis on exercise, nutrition and social activities.
Run by the nonprofit organization Fifty Upstate, the Landrum Aging Well Community Center will function much like Fifty Upstate’s 7 other campuses across Spartanburg county, utilizing spaces that sit empty during the day.
One of the centers is the Northwest Community Center in Spartanburg, where seniors enjoy playing horseshoe games, exercising and drawing in coloring books.
“I call it an adult playground,” says Executive Director Yvonne Harper. “This is a special time for them.”
Last year the organization served nearly 700 people in Spartanburg County, offering seniors a place to laugh, eat and play with their peers.
“The Department of Aging says that for Fifty Upstate, we spend an average of about $1,400 per person,” Harper says. “The cost reduction equivalent, if those people were in a nursing home, is about $52 thousand… it’s like $30 some million we are saving the community.”
86-year-old Katherine Lyles says her daily routine at the center makes her feel like a school child again.
“I love coloring,” she says. “I got a color book at home. My children call me a kindergartner.”
Fifty Upstate also delivers free meals to seniors’ homes and provides lawn care, minor home repairs, and, to Lyles’ delight, bus rides to and from the centers.
“I’m looking forward every morning for that bus,” she says. “When it comes, I’m happy to see it. It brings joy.”
Seniors are meeting at the Landrum depot every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 1pm.
All centers in Spartanburg County are also open during those hours. Services and bus rides are free for seniors aged 60 and up.
For information on how to apply, visit fiftyupstate.org.