Active Aging Week starts Monday

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Erin Habben, Fort Dodge Parks, Recreation and Forestry program supervisor, poses next to some prizes at Citizens Central that will be given away during Active Aging Week. Active Aging Week begins on Monday.

A strength and balance class, a stroll through Oleson Park and a free movie showing are just a few of the ways the Fort Dodge Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will celebrate Active Aging Week.

Active Aging Week is a nationwide event to celebrate aging and the benefits of active living.

“It’s to encourage people to get out and participate in different activities the community has to offer and to encourage wellness for those who are actively aging,” said Erin Habben, program supervisor.

A host of free activities will be offered throughout Active Aging Week.

Citizens Central, 617 Central Ave., will begin the week with bingo on Monday at 3 p.m.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Decorative mugs and a variety of local gift certificates are among the items that will be given away during Active Aging Week.

On Tuesday, the public is invited to Oleson Park for a short walk through the park at 9 a.m. A light breakfast will be served following the walk.

On Wednesday at 10 a.m., a strength and balance class will be held at Citizens Central.

An Active Aging Fair will be held on Thursday at Citzens Central from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. About 10 businesses will be on hand to offer door prizes. Light snacks and refreshments will also be served.

Tasha Nielsen, natural resource and trail technician for Webster County Conservation, will be the keynote speaker.

“She will talk about her experience at the (Gypsum City) OHV Park and highlight some recreation opportunities,” Habben said. “I’ve heard her speak before and she did phenomenal.”

Citizens Central will wrap up Active Aging Week with a free showing of the movie ”Hocus Pocus” on Friday. The movie will start at 1 p.m. Free popcorn will be available.

Habben said the week will be an opportunity to reach folks who are 50 and older and may want to take advantage of the programs offered at Citizens Central.

It has been more difficult to reach people throughout the pandemic, she said.

“We were closed for over a year before we opened up for lighter activities in July,” Habben said. “We just haven’t had a chance to offer much to seniors or those actively aging, so I’m excited because we are offering five days of activities. We want people to get out, have some fun, enjoy themselves and see what we have to offer.”

Habben is hopeful that more activities can be offered in the coming months. She said it’s important for people to be active, especially when it comes to mental health.

“I think it’s really important with the mental health issues going on,” Habben said. “We are seeing a spike in that throughout the nation.”

Currently, Citizens Central has its pool table and snooker table available to members. Card games and yoga classes are also offered.

Habben, who has been program supervisor since February, said she hopes to offer some different art and cooking classes at some point in the near future.

The annual user fee for Citizens Central is $50.

She’s thrilled to be able to offer opportunities during Active Aging Week.

“This is really our first big event since reopening (Citizens Central),” Habben said.

Active Aging Week

• All activities are free

Monday: bingo at Citizens Central, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: a walk in the park with breakfast at Oleson Park, 9 a.m.

Wednesday: strength and balance exercise class at Citizen Central, 10 a.m.

Thursday: Active Aging Fair at Citizens Central, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday: movie with popcorn at Citizens Central, 1 p.m.


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