Programs and activities for area seniors

Computer class at the CH Senior Activity Center.

Cleveland Heights and University Heights are great places for senior citizens. Our local governments provide a variety of interesting classes and beneficial programs for people of retirement age. For example, the Senior Activity Center (SAC) in Cleveland Heights provides programs to roughly 1,900 seniors annually.

The center is located at the corner of Mayfield Road and Monticello Boulevard. With bright, open rooms and a helpful, knowledgeable staff, the center comprises a "great and friendly group of people," said Amy Jenkins, social and recreation coordinator for the center, and director of the Cleveland Heights Office on Aging.

Membership in SAC is free for residents of Cleveland Heights, ages 60 and older. The center offers many free classes, hobby groups, and clubs. Some classes require a small fee. The center offers free computer access to members, as well as helpful computer classes.

Senior members have access to the community center’s indoor track three days a week, as well as membership in a free walking club. Van transportation to and from the center is available for 50 cents each way.

An exciting new program at the center spotlights popular American singers. On March 23, the life and music of Nat King Cole will be discussed.

The center also hosts local professionals speaking on subjects of particular interest to seniors, such as legal issues, tax preparation, and medication management.

The Cleveland Heights Office on Aging, located at SAC, employs two social workers. "We answer questions and keep track of the resources that are available, so that we can properly refer our seniors," said social worker Cathy Katz. Help is available on a variety of subjects, such as housing, home health care, and family relations.

The office assists with legal and Medicare issues, and helps seniors apply for economic and health care assistance programs. The office operates a low-cost transportation service, and a meal delivery service through Meals on Wheels. The delivery service also serves as a safety check. If a senior does not answer the door for a scheduled delivery, said Jenkins,"We follow up to make sure he or she is alright."

University Heights also offers several helpful programs for area seniors. The Senior Adult Network organizes a free weekly program, called Senior Citizen Gatherings, which meets on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library at the corner of Cedar and Fenwick roads.

Speakers from a wide range of professions and specialties present topics of current interest. Recent subjects have included climate change, regional development, and public radio and television. The March program will include presentations by the vice president of the Cuyahoga County Council and the editor of The Plain Dealer editorial page.

University Heights also has a Meals on Wheels program for its seniors. Like the Cleveland Heights program, it provides two meals a day and serves as a safety check to ensure the recipient is safe and healthy.

Other senior programs provided by the City of University Heights include assistance with income tax filing, annual flu shots, help with Golden Buckeye and health insurance forms, and help applying for the federal Home Energy Assistance Program for home heating costs.

Transportation to all University Heights events for seniors is available through the Cuyahoga County Senior Transportation Connection at a very low cost.

Area seniors are encouraged to take advantage of these programs. For more information on the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center or the Office on Aging, contact Amy Jenkins at 216-691-7379. For more information on University Heights senior programs, contact the University Heights City Hall at 216-932-7800.

Judith Eugene is a Cleveland Heights native who provides services to senior adults and those with mobility challenges through She can be reached at 216-408-5578 or

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 1:46 PM, 03.01.2011