TOWNSEND — Members of the Senior Center Building Committee are waiting to see if the Housing Authority can combine a proposed senior center on the site of Atwood Acres with a new Atwood building.
According to Christine Clish, chairman of the Council on Aging, a joint meeting was held between the two entities in which the proposed senior center plan was discussed.
“The Housing Authority is looking to see about a master plan which would include the senior center. They are looking to see if they can fit us in,” she said.
Clish said the master plan would include construction of a new senior facility, then renovations to the current Atwood Acres to become assisted living for the elderly.
Clish explained that assisted living allows the person to remain in their own apartment, while receiving a little help to stay independent.
“From other assisted living places that I’ve visited, things like meals are cooked and served in one location so the elderly person does not have to do their own cooking. Many of them cannot stand long enough to do that,” she explained.
Clish said some llight housekeeping may also be included.
“This is a great concept. Townsend does not have any type of assisted living quarters, and we know how much this is needed,” she said.
Clish said some Atwood residents end up moving out of town once they need assisted living, since it is not available locally.
“We just had one long-time Townsend resident move to New Jersey to be near her son, as she couldn’t stay alone any longer and we could not provide her with assisted living,” Clish said. “She hated to leave Townsend, but she had no choice.”
She added that others have left town for the same reason.
“When people get along in years, some need some help but really want to stay independent. This is a perfect concept to do in town.”
Clish said the possibility of putting the new senior center in the Atwood complex is still the first choice. The commitee had looked at other options, like constructing the senior center near the Highway Department, but that is no longer the first choice. Noise and dust issues, along with heavy equipment in the area, put a damper on the site.
“We are still hoping for the Atwood site, and we are hoping the Housing Authority can fit is in,” Clish said.