Saturday, April 13

‘We love them:’ Lake Worth Beach senior center helps residents stay active through dance

When you put exercise instructor Rey Iaz in a room, the women hit the dance floor.

This is the Mid-County Senior Center in Lake Worth Beach for individuals ages 55 to 105. Iaz said his exercise class is once a week.

“I think that seniors they need more attention. Sometimes the mother and the father, they become the grandmother, the family doesn’t have time because life is hard and there’s an opportunity here to show them that we love them,” Iaz said.

Iaz left Cuba many years ago and missed out on spending time with his grandmother.

“I didn’t have time to enjoy my grandmother. So I’m helping other grandmothers that we have here,” Iaz.

77-year-old Hilda Darkins is a part of the class.

“As you get older, you get stiff. And it helps me to not get stiff in the morning and throughout the day,” Darkins said.

Faith Manfa, the Palm Beach Coutny senior services director, said there’s more than exercise at this senior center

“The senior center offers quite a bit of activities. We have wood carving, we have poetry classes. We really look to the seniors to see what their interest is, and then we go out into the community and bring people in to facilitate those classes,” Manfa said.

Manfa said the instructors are all volunteers. There are only two paid staff members.

“The seniors, they love art classes. They also love life learning classes. They enjoy physical as we saw today. So yoga, taichi. balance is very important. So we would love classes like that,” Manfa said. “Meeting in a senior center really helps prevent isolation. They make friends. Overall a great way to feel a part of their community and they love coming. As you age, not only does your mobility become more challenging, but you do lose loved ones and you lose friends. And many times, seniors don’t want to get dressed. They don’t want to come out.

The Mid-County Senior Center is located at 3680 Lake Worth Road in Lake Worth Beach. For more information, call 561-357-7101.

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