Report Abuse or Neglect

Celebrating Grandparents and Senior Centers – Pillars of our Community!


This year, Grandparents Day was celebrated earlier this month on September 11.  While we honor and celebrate grandparents every day for the wisdom and rich experiences they bring to their interactions with all generations, on this special day, we salute them also for all the ways they give to their families and their communities. In today’s families, many grandparents are caring for their grandchild or grandchildren due to a variety of circumstances. For example, grandparents are often involved in helping families manage school schedules and pick-ups and drop-offs from the bus.  Like other primary caregivers, grandparents caring for their grandchildren do so much and need support as well.  WMEC’s Family Caregiver Specialist assists grandparents by providing support, resources, and flexible funding to help with back-to-school needs or other specific needs a family may have.  If you have a grandparent in your life that needs support, contact us today and let us know how we can help!

September is also National Senior Center Month, and this year’s theme is “Strengthening Community Connections.” This is fitting, as our local Senior Centers are active and vibrant community “hubs” which connect older adults to important resources and enriching activities of many kinds.  Councils on Aging (CoAs) serve as their community’s Senior Center and the local link to support elders, families, and caregivers. The CoAs in Holyoke, Chicopee, Ludlow, South Hadley, Belchertown, Ware and Granby, and other surrounding communities provide volunteer opportunities, exercise, learning, recreation, meal options, health and wellness, and caregiver supports, to name just a few of the services offered.   You can pick and choose the programs that are of interest to you and work with your schedule.  CoAs are also a source of information and referrals to other community partners and services.  The past two years have shined a light on the key role that Senior Centers play in connecting their citizens to one another and to the services they need – which has made a vital difference to so many during the COVID pandemic.

WMEC partners with Councils on Aging through a variety of community grants and collaborations. For example, our Nutrition Team works closely with Senior Center staff to coordinate Community Table dining programs in Granby and South Hadley, and to distribute Farmers’ Market coupons to residents throughout our service area. We have partnered for years with the Holyoke Council on Aging which hosts our Rainbow Social Club programming, and other Councils on Aging which have hosted many of WMEC’s Healthy Living Programs.  

Check out your local Senior Center today – they are connected and in tune with their community needs!  Visit the center in your town or a neighboring community, or explore their websites or social media pages to learn about the affordable and accessible programs near you in September.  It’s a great time of the year to restart healthy routines, or start some new ones!