Senior News

Dallas to open new activity facility in Oak Cliff for select crowd

Dallas to open new activity facility in Oak Cliff for select crowd

Oak Cliff Senior Center
The new center will encourage health and wellness for the over-60 set. Photo courtesy of WCF

Dallas is partnering with a nonprofit to open a health and wellness center in Oak Cliff, but for a select audience: seniors. Sorry, you peppy people under 60, but you won't be able to get in.

The center will serve adults age 60 and older and will open in fall 2018, at Camp Wisdom Road and US-67, at Red Bird Square.

The $1.4 million facility is a cooperative between the City of Dallas and nonprofit WellMed Charitable Foundation. The announcement of the center was made at a festive event that included a performance, posted on Facebook, by the "Dancing Divas of Dallas."

In a release, Mayor Mike Rawlings calls it a "terrific" public-private partnership opportunity.

"WellMed not only shares their resources in generous charitable work, they also have a clear vision of what they want their contributions to do," Rawlings says. "Their senior center facilities provide innovative, practical resources for persons age 60 and over — geared to not only promote health and wellness, but to provide exercise equipment, fitness classes, health screenings, and referrals to vital social services at no cost."

The new Southwest Dallas center will be built adjacent to a WellMed primary care clinic, also under construction. WellMed doctors, nurses, and staff provide health care services, such as diabetes screenings and flu shots, to center members.

The new senior activity center is the sixth WellMed-branded clinic in DFW and will be the largest. WellMed also operates more than 50 health care facilities in the region under the USMD brand.

Funding comes from the WellMed Charitable Foundation, which is renewing a $150,000 grant to the city to underwrite annual and monthly fees for residents age 60 and older to attend Dallas Park and Recreation centers. Since the first WCF grant was issued in March 2017, more than 2,100 older adults have joined the centers.

Activities will include aerobics, walking clubs, weight training, bridge, dominoes, arts & crafts, book clubs, day trips, fitness and nutrition classes, volunteer opportunities, and more. The Foundation will also introduce programs not found at other centers, such as healthy cooking classes in the demonstration kitchen, Internet safety classes in a computer lab, and caregiver support programs.

The WellMed Charitable Foundation pioneered its the senior center in San Antonio, where it operates three centers — two in conjunction with the City of San Antonio.

The Foundation also operates facilities in Corpus Christi, Austin, two in the Rio Grande Valley, and two in Miami, for a total of nine centers.

According to figures from the US Census Bureau, Americans 60 years and older will nearly double by 2050, to approximately 84 million people.