The Waxahachie Senior Center is opening its doors and inviting members of the public age 50 and older to come take part in some of the classes and support groups it has to offer.

“We are starting our Alzheimer’s workshop and we are opening it up to any of the assisted living centers that have support groups. We are trying to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is an illness that people don’t focus on until it hits a family member of a loved one,” said Waxahachie Senior Center Director Jeanee Smiles. “With this facility we have the room where we can bring groups together to build a larger support group. It will be held on the third Thursday of every month.”

In connection with the workshop the center will host a Memory Café from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31. The Memory Café provides a place for individuals suffering from memory loss and their caregivers to come together in a safe, supportive and engaging environment.

The event will provide a place to network, but will also feature live music and light refreshments. Space is limited, so make a reservation as soon as possible to allow the center to plan for food.

Smiles said the Memory Café provides a place where people can share their experiences, interact, laugh, cry, find support, share their concerns and celebrate their successes.

The center will have four new classes for people to take over the next few months to keep them mentally fit.

Linda Hamel will teach students how to communicate with members of the deaf community through a sign language course. This course will be taught by combining Hamel’s instruction, interactive videos and workbook assignments.  The class is scheduled for 2 p.m. each Friday.

Rita Cook will teach a Master of Memory class. Cook will work with students to help improve memory by learning different techniques, instruction, videos and general coursework. This class will take place from 1-2 p.m. each Wednesday starting July 17.

Linda DeFrank will teach how to improve balance by using videos and incorporating different exercise routines. The first half of the two-hour class will be general instruction. The second half will feature one-on-one instruction on how to do balance improving exercises properly. The class will be held at 10:30 a.m. each Thursday starting Aug. 29.  

The center will also offer a Creative Writers Workshop.

“We have made several attempts in trying to entice our members to sit down at a computer and put their memoirs down so they could leave a legacy for their children. They have come back and told us that they really don’t really know how to write a story,” Smiles said. “Marie Lamb is coming in and she has moved from Round Rock. She has taught this class at churches and at the senior center in Round Rock. We have 10 people already signed up and will be starting at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 7. The class will run for about six weeks and will be held every Wednesday. ”

Smiles said Nancy Worley is also helping with the writing class and will work with students to help them publish their writing.

For more information about the center, call 469-309-4280. The senior center is located at 122 Park Hills Drive in Waxahachie. Additional information about the center can be viewed at its website at www.waxahachieseniorcenter.org.

Follow Andrew on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI. Contact him at andrew.branca@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1451.