According to hearing health providers, nearly one in five Americans age 12 years and older – 48 million people – experience hearing loss severe enough to hinder communication. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent age-related disability in adults age 75 years plus, following arthritis and hypertension. Only 5 percent of hearing loss in adults can be improved medically or surgically. The vast majority of Americans with hearing loss are treated with hearing aids.



As you age, you may notice wrinkles and brown spots on your skin. Aging makes skin more prone to dryness. Your skin also becomes thinner and loses fat, making it less plump and smooth. Cuts and bruises might take longer to heal. How skin ages will depend on several factors: your heredity, lifestyle, diet and other personal habits, such as smoking. Sunlight is another major cause of skin aging.



For some seniors,getting a good night’s sleep is an everyday challenge. Some sleep specialists recommend seniors sleep about seven and a half hours on average, while others say seniors need to get as much sleep as they always have to function at their best. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) convened experts from the fields of sleep research, anatomy and physiology as well as pediatrics, neurology and gerontology to reach a consensus from the broadest range of scientific disciplines.


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It has been over 35 years since the city of Lexington built its first senior center. This dedication to seniors has continued over the years. On Sept. 15, 2016, a newly constructed senior center opened to meet the needs of a growing senior population.

But are you aware this is not the only center built specifically for seniors in our city? Lexington has a rich history of programs that have been set aside for the aging population. Some centers are located in historic buildings. Others are repurposed programs that more readily offer opportunities for people age 60 years and older of all backgrounds, races and income levels to stay active and healthy in each stage of life.

Let’s begin our tour with the Bell House Senior Programs.

In June 2017, Lexington celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic Bell House being used as a senior center. Major figures in Lexington history visited this home, which was built in 1865 by John Bell. It was even the stamping grounds of Abraham Lincoln, his wife, Mary Todd, and his mother-in-law. The building was the first senior center in Lexington. On June 1, 1967, the Bell House opened its doors to senior adult programs, thanks to a federal grant obtained through the Older Americans Act. Until that time, senior programs were generally only offered through churches.

Dorothy Large, who was Lexington’s first director of senior adult programs and served for 40 years, helped create, provide and manage programming at the Bell House. These included classes in writing, music, theater, fitness, wellness and more. In March 2017, the Division of Parks and Recreation gave control of the program to the Division of Aging and Disability Services. It is now a satellite location providing a stimulating environment where adults ages 60


years and older engage in all sorts of activities.

When you visit the Bell House, you will encounter all kinds of services, including the Monday Club, an art class held throughout

the week, as well as educational courses. You can even take piano lessons there. If you listen carefully, you might hear the Bell House Troubadours choral group singing. The Bell House also has fitness activities such as chair yoga and aging with grace exercise. The facility has developed a partnership with the YMCA to do offsite water fitness classes in their multiple locations.

At the centrally located Bell House, seniors will also find resources they need for themselves or a loved one. You might even find and make new friends as the programs help you stay active and enjoy the wonderful years ahead.  

The next stop on our tour is one of a kind – the Charles Young Center Senior programs. The center is named after a freed slave who was the highest-ranking black officer in the military at the time of his death in 1922. It was built using federal funds in 1934. It was formerly a community center for the local African American population during segregation. On Aug. 17, 2016, the Young Center celebrated its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The center has been remodeled and rejuvenated and is now one of the newest satellites of the Lexington Senior Center, which opened five years ago on the east side of Lexington. The repurposing of the center keeps alive a lot of rich history. Kristy Stambaugh, Director of Aging and Disability Services, says several people have told her the center played a significant role in their lives – it was where some even had their first kiss. Reopening the Young Center brought back many positive and wonderful memories for the community. Like the Bell House, it brings together people from all ages and stages of life and racial backgrounds.


The Young Center is open three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. As many as 40 people use the center daily. It is home to a full-size gymnasium and offers classes on Bodies in Balance to help with fall prevention. There is also a line-dancing class, as well as classes on scam prevention, Medicare enrollment and healthy eating for one. The people who gather at the Charles Young Center enjoy many traditional and even new cards games. A fun activity called pickleball is often played there. It is said to be extremely challenging and can become slightly addictive.

Many creative activities, including jewelry making and crafts, and social/educational opportunities such as tablet training are available for seniors. You are encouraged to bring in your smart device (phone, tablet, laptop) and volunteers will assist you in using it. With lectures and other informational classes geared for the needs in a senior’s life, we encourage you to participate with other seniors at this wonderful community resource.

Finally, the third part of our tour is the Eldercrafters at the Black and Williams Center. This satellite of the Lexington Senior Center is the city’s second oldest senior program. Its unique claim to fame is its commitment to crafts and art work. The participants have a wonderful reputation for creating amazing quilts, ceramics, needlework projects and more. The women in the past have volunteered their crafting skills for community projects, such as making pillowcase dresses for a program at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center and sewing quilts or afghans for nursing home residents. They have also made hats and blankets for babies at the Shriners Hospital, and they prepare and paint ceramic pieces as well. Recently they knitted hats and gloves for the Hope Center and Chrysalis House.

If crafting is not your thing, the center also has activities such as card games, dominoes, movies, community potlucks and social gatherings. This active group is also known to organize trips to see the unique areas of the Bluegrass. Two days a week the group hosts Chair Yoga 2, an


exercise program dedicated to helping build strength and stability for seniors. The convenient office reaching people on the west side is open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lexington Senior Center is so proud to offer these three satellite offices to meet the needs of seniors in different areas of the city. These centers are beautiful places for you to meet new friends, exercise, listen to music, have adventures and stay active. You no longer need to travel across town to experience all that is offered. Check out one or all three of these great locations. To learn more, go to the Senior Programs at the City of Lexington website,