As a grateful attendee and volunteer of Fulton County’s Dorothy Benson Senior Center [in Sandy Springs], I want to inform all Fulton citizens of the great importance, many values and services it provides. As reported in articles in the Neighbor, all [four] Fulton County senior centers were threatened with cuts by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners before the 2014 budget was approved [last month].
Benson is listed as serving 3,257 people in January through November of 2012, with a daily average attendance of 199. This does not seem an accurate number, as Benson has increasing numbers of Baby Boomers who probably previously joined private facilities for exercises and other activities, but in the current economy are not affordable. In addition, although encouraged, many fail to sign in so are not counted.
Although they are especially designed for benefits of seniors, the centers are of utmost significance to the entire community. The absence of these special places would leave an absence of a multitude of irreplaceable services with a void for a vulnerable population. The Benson Center is more than, as the national motto last year suggested, “Where Seniors Come to Play.” It is where friendships, appropriate general education, information, fun activities that promote good health and advice are provided.
The Benson Center complex is made up of three sections. One area is for day care for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s or special physical problems.
It helps individuals and offers valuable stimulus and relief for families who have to care for their loved ones. A third area is supplemented with federal funds for those who qualify for transportation and lunch.
Please ask your Fulton commissioner to continue to fully support the budget of the Benson Center.
Charlotte G. Marcus