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News from Rufty-Holmes Senior Center

Center celebrates 20th year of operation
Dennis W. Streets, the Director of the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services, will address those gathered for Rufty-Holmes Senior Center’s 20th Anniversary Reception on Jan. 4. The reception will be held at 3 p.m. in the center’s Addie Rhem Morris Room. The public is invited.
Streets was appointed director of the division in 2006 upon the retirement of Karen Gotovvi. Formerly chief of the planning, budget and systems support section of the Division of Aging and Adult Services, he has also served as the coordinator of the Center for Aging Research and Educational Services (CARES) at the Jordan Institute for Families of the School of Social Work at UNC-Chapel Hill.
He has served as the executive director of a non-profit longterm care organization, worked with the Division of Social Services, and with one of the state’s Area Agencies on Aging over a span of 27 years in the field.
A big advocate for the role of senior centers in the aging network, Streets will acknowledge the leadership role of Rufty-Holmes among the state’s 163 centers.
Rufty-Holmes is the only nationally accredited senior center in North Carolina, and was the pilot center for the Division of Aging’s senior center certification program developed in 1999.
Rufty-Holmes opened its doors to participants for the first time on Jan. 4, 1988, at 1120 S. Boundary St. The center serves as a community focal point for aging resources as well as a provider of services designed to extend independent living and enrich the quality of life for local older adults.
Core services of the center include health and wellness programs, lifelong learning opportunities and forums for civic and social engagement.
Older adults can improve and maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health; acquire new knowledge and skills; experience increased involvement in community life; and enjoy enhanced life enrichment.
The center’s mission of promoting wellness and extending self-reliance and independent living of older adults benefits the whole community by lessening the need for older adults to be dependent on more acute care services. The Rowan County Senior Services Department is co-located at the center and provides assistance to older adults in need of transportation, in-home aid, adult day care, nutrition, home safety, and other community based services.
Membership in the center has grown to more than 3,500 local older adults, with services being provided to an additional 1,500 non-members each year. Membership is free to Rowan County residents age 55 and older.
Rufty-Holmes Senior Center is named in memory of local residents Henry E. Rufty and Haden C. Holmes in appreciation of their families’ generous support during the fund-raising campaign to build the Center in 1987.
Rufty and Holmes were associated with county and city government here during the 1930s and ’40s. Their families’ gracious contributions, along with 6,000 other original donors, and help from the City of Salisbury and Rowan County, allowed for the construction of a new 10,000-square-foot multipurpose center 20 years ago.
Since that time, the center has been enlarged twice and is in the process of constructing its third addition which will bring the total size to 20,000 square feet.
Rufty-Holmes Senior Center is a local, non-profit, 501c3 organization with a governing board of directors comprised of center members. A member agency of the Rowan County United Way, funding for the center’s operation also comes from the County of Rowan, the City of Salisbury, the state of North Carolina, local municipalities, business partners, program fees, and private, tax-deductible contributions.
In addition to remarks by Streets, greetings will be given by representatives of the Centralina Area Agency on Aging, city and ccounty government, and the Rowan County United Way. Former board members associated with the development of the center and longtime participants will also be recognized.
The board will close the program with an announcement of its new strategic plan to guide the center’s direction over the next five years.
New arthritis exercise class offered
Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, 1120 S. Boundary St., will be offering a new exercise program designed for persons with arthritis beginning in January. 
The “People with Arthritis Can Exercise,” or PACE, is a special program developed by the Arthritis Foundation for persons who suffer from arthritis and related conditions.
For many years, it was thought that people with arthritis shouldn’t exercise because it would damage their joints. Today, however, physicians and therapists know that moderate physical activity can improve health without damaging joints.
PACE is an exercise program that uses gentle activities to help increase joint flexibility, range of motion, and maintain muscle strength. It also helps increase overall stamina. There are four components to each class: arthritis education, arthritis appropriate exercises, a fun activity and relaxation.
Instructors for the class have completed certification provided by the Arthritis Foundation.
A new six-week PACE class will begin Monday, Jan. 7, for interested older adults. The class will meet each 2-3 p.m. Monday and Thursday and will be taught by Cathy Ryerson and Susan Musselman of the senior center staff. The class is available at no cost to participants, being provided for through a state Health Promotion/Disease Prevention grant. Donations will be accepted to allow additional persons to participate. 
For more information or to enroll, inquire at the front desk of the center or call 704-216-7714.

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