The active senior citizens’ community in our association’s area has been advocating more programs at the Chevy Chase Community Center for older residents. Thanks to the support of Ward 3 D.C Council member Mary Cheh, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has hired a staff member at the center who will help create and manage programs of interest to people 55 and older.
The new senior programs coordinator is Brittany Miller, who began work early this month and was formally introduced at a “meet and greet” event at the center on Feb. 23. Miller, a native of Long Island, has a degree in recreational management from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. She also is a certified recreation therapist, meaning someone qualified to work with older adults and people with disabilities. Before coming to DPR, she handled recreational activities at a rehabilitation hospital in Arlington.
Current activities at the Chevy Chase center aimed at seniors include fitness classes (called “strength and resistance”), tai chi and yoga – which are managed by the YMCA. The classes typically are full, showing a high level of interest among seniors in programs at the center.
Because Miller has been on the job for only a short time, she has not had a chance to map out new activities, but among items she is interested in exploring are cultural programs such as dance, music, art and theater, speakers on various subjects, classes on using technological devices, and discussion groups on topics like books and current events. She says, “I look forward to getting to know the talented seniors in this community.”
Loretta Kiron, a member of a seniors group that urged the District to hire a staffer like Miller, says that among other suggestions made by attendees at the “meet and greet” were organizing trips for seniors, meditation classes and sing-alongs. She noted that the center’s hours might have to be extended to accommodate new programs.
Jay Thal, also in the seniors group, said the extent of resources the District would provide, such as exercise equipment and computers, still was not clear.
— Ted Gest