Friday, November 5, 2010

Hudson's Senior Center

There's a plan to build a senior center in Hudson, as an addition to the Youth Center at the corner of Third and Union streets, but the question is: Will it offer any programs that will appeal to a growing segment of Hudson seniors?

Currently under attack is the very popular yoga program for seniors, taught by Terry Schaff. An article in today's Register-Star reports that the Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation is no longer willing to fund the program because, they've been told, the people participating can afford to pay for it and the instructor charges too much ($50 an hour) for her services: "Senior yoga, exercise programs in danger."

The suggestion that participants pay a small fee to offset the cost of the program does not seem entirely inappropriate. There are successful senior centers, run as not-for-profits, that charge a nominal annual membership fee, in addition to small fees for individual programs. The notion, however, that no one providing programs at the Youth/Senior Center should be compensated more than $25 an hour seems to guarantee a level of mediocrity that will result in programs of limited benefit or appeal to many Hudson seniors.

One thing that may be learned from the current situation is that a successful senior center is going to take more than simply building an addition on the Youth Center. It will require capable and dedicated planning for senior programs and for funding those programs--something that cannot be done successfully as a left-handed effort by a staff whose major focus is youth programs.          


  1. Carole, the problem here is not the "Senior" part of this, but the "Youth" part. We need to get the Youth Center to a place where the Youth are. This is one of those issues where Hudson simply ties itself in knots because of its dysfunctional governance policies and practices. There's no thinking in this stuff; surely nothing long range or comprehensive. What's the deal with forcing Seniors to be in the same building as Youth? But get the youth center out of the central business district and off the major roadway leading into/out of Hudson..... Ugh.

    --peter m.

  2. I would like to point out that the Commissioner of Aging, Doris Moore, has been actively lobbying the mayor for at least the last five years for an independent, stand alone Senior Center with programming.

    For whatever reason, the Commissioner of Aging has not been given the same level of respect or active access to the mayor as the Commissioners of other City Departments.

    I was raised to always respect my elders and to understand, that by the Grace of God, we will all be Senior Citizens some day.