The Senior Hunger Summit is calling all experts, policy makers and community stakeholders to help raise awareness and seek solutions for senior hunger in our communities.


Kay Hind reappointed to state Council on Aging


SOWEGA Council on Aging Comedy Night fundraiser set for Aug. 4


Senior Fitness on the Rise in Albany - Albany News Herald Story


23rd Annual Shades of Gold Senior Art Show





view all press releases »
Date Posted: August 31, 2016
The Senior Hunger Summit is calling all experts, policy makers and community stakeholders to help raise awareness and seek solutions for senior hunger in our communities.

To view news story from WALB news:


Date Posted: July 07, 2016
Kay Hind reappointed to state Council on Aging

ALBANY HERALD — Chauntel Powell


Department of Human Services Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden announced the reappointment of four members to the Georgia Council on Aging earlier this week, including Southwest Georgia Council on Aging Executive Director Kay Hind.

Reappointed along with Hind were Sharise Thurman Reasonover, Joan T. Keenan and Lorene Lindsey. All four will serve two-year terms on the council that will end June 30, 2018.

In a press release from the Georgia Department of Human Services, Crittenden said, “The four individuals reappointed today have shown their commitment to making Georgia a better place for its senior citizens. I am confident they will continue to serve Georgia through advocacy for aging Georgians, and I look forward to working with them to promote programs that improve the quality of life of older residents in our state.”

Hind, who has served the Southwest Georgia area for more than 40 years, she said she’s excited to once again be a part of the state council because it allows her to be involved in something bigger than just her service area.

“It’s very important to me,” she said. “It gives me a chance to meet other people in the state that are advocating for the elderly and concerned about them. It also gives me the chance to participate in the legislature. I have an opportunity to find out what is being introduced and how it’s going (to affect the elderly) so I can take a stand if it’s something important to older people. That’s my concern.”

With the exception of three years, Hind has been working on the SOWEGA Council on Aging in various capacities since 1977. She’s set to continue serving on the state level as she heads to a council meeting in Macon to establish the priorities for the elderly. She said a number of proposals from those around the state are to be discussed.


Date Posted: July 08, 2016
SOWEGA Council on Aging Comedy Night fundraiser set for Aug. 4

ALBANY HERALD — Jennifer Parks


Tickets have been going fast for the 11th annual SOWEGA Council on Aging Comedy Night, which will have a few changes in store this year — including a new venue.

This year’s event, which will include magician/comedian Mark Robinson, is taking place Aug. 4at the Kay H. Hind Senior Life Enrichment Center at 335 W. Society Ave.

The move from the Albany Municipal Auditorium allows for an opportunity to showcase the center, gives the public a chance to see what is there, and also helps to save money — ensuring the event still remains an effective fundraiser for Meals on Wheels, organizers say.

“It is in a different place, and a different type of comedian,” said Council on Aging Executive Director Kay Hind. “We’ve never had that, and I think it will be fun.”

Robinson also carries the title of motivational speaker, which has the potential to make an interesting twist to the evening.

“It is going to be a nice, clean fun night of entertainment,” said Izzie Sadler, development director for the Council on Aging.

When attendees walk in the door, they will have the option of competing against their peers by bidding on silent auction items. A wide range of items are expected, including gift baskets and certificates from area businesses.

This year’s Comedy Night also serves as an opportunity to celebrate a milestone.

“Our 50th anniversary is this year, so this (event) will be a little bit in honor of that,” Sadler said.

Meals on Wheels provides 150 meals in Dougherty County every day to the homebound. In order to keep up with demand, there has to be some financial help from the community. It is the best known program offered through the Council on Aging, so there is a significant focus on supplementing it.

While funding is available from other sources, it is not nearly enough to sustain it.

“We really work to raise money to serve the people who need the meals,” Hind said.

As it is, there is already a waiting list of people needing meals, and there is a constant need for volunteers to deliver the meals so that fewer Council on Aging staff members have to be pulled to meet the demand.

It is a service some civic clubs have taken on as a project. It requires a car and a partner to participate.

“It is a really big help, but not a terrible burden to anybody,” Hind said.

Hind said about $40,000 is needed to sustain Meals on Wheels for the remainder of the year and still offer the same level of service it does now.

“We could cut back on the number of meals or not serve as good meals, but we would rather serve the people who need it,” she said.

Robinson’s biography says his comedy has gained rave reviews, an invitation to open for Jeff Foxworthy and an appearance with late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. He has won multiple awards, numerous engagements at Harrah’s Casinos and an invitation to perform for the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood. He has toured China, done halftime shows for the NBA and appeared in national TV commercials and filmed television shows.

He also has been sought after by Fortune 500 companies as a stress break for meetings, conventions and seminars across the country.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and show at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person, and are available for purchase at or at the enrichment center. As of Thursday, only 60 tickets of the nearly 230 initially available remained.

For more information, call (229) 435-6789.


Date Posted: June 10, 2016
Senior Fitness on the Rise in Albany - Albany News Herald Story

Read story at Albany News Herald here:

ALBANY — Chauntel Powell, Albany News Herald

December 20, 2015 is a day Frances Weintraub remembers quite vividly. The 88-year-old was walking through her home and suffered a nasty fall that broke her pelvis in two places and her tailbone in one.

For many her age, this could have resulted in a complete lack of mobility and dependency on others, but thanks to Weintraub’s active lifestyle, she was able to get back to her regular routine in almost no time.

“(My doctor) told me that it was amazing that I was in as good a health and shape as I was,” she said.

Just five months later, Weintraub was back in the front row of the SilverSneakers fitness class held at the Albany YMCA. SilverSneakers fitness has been a large part of Weintraub’s life since she started attending classes at what used to be Gold’s Gym over a decade ago and she said because of it, she was able to maintain her independent lifestyle.

“If it had not been for (instructor Sam McCormick), and I had not been exercising all this while, I fully believe that I would have been in the nursing home, laying on my back,” she said.

As the nation’s population grows ever grayer, a number of organizations are gearing fitness programs solely to seniors, offering classes that focus on health concerns that particularly impact that age group.

Weintraub had originally received a notice in the mail saying her insurance provider would pay the membership fee for classes if she signed up for the SilverSneakers program.

As of today, Weintraub is involved in Zumba Gold, line dancing, the annual Chile Run, several parades and more.

According to Bernie Scoggins, an internist and geriatrician at the South Albany Medical Center, incidents involving falls such as Weintraub’s are quite common among older adults.

“There’s a natural tendency as we get older to not pick our feet up as high and to take shorter steps,” Scoggins said. “And not picking your feet up as leads to tripping and falling, which is a real common thing.

“Part of it is loss of sensation in our nerve endings. And sometimes our feet cannot feel as well where we are in space. Sometimes our vision’s worse. Sometimes our balance mechanisms in our ears are not as good. It’s a combination of things all together.”

Scoggins added that falls by individuals of an advanced age are more dangerous. He said that as people get older, they’re much more prone to osteoporosis and have a tendency to fracture much more easily. The recovery time of falls is also elongated due to advanced age both physically and mentally.

“Once people fall, especially much older people, they fall one time and they get very scared,” he said. “Sometimes it affects their whole outlook, and they’re scared to do much of anything.”

Of the top health concerns for people over 65, including fractures and balance, Scoggins said exercise can help with many of them.

“Exercise helps get their muscles stronger, especially their legs, and if your leg muscles are stronger above and below the knee, then you’re less likely to fall down,” he said. “Also, exercise helps bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Weight exercises help protect your bones. They also improve nutrition and helps people’s appetite.”

According to the United States Census Bureau, citizens 65 years-old and up made up 11.3 of Albany’s 77,434 population in 2010. As that number continues to grow, various organizations are expanding their programs to cater to this demographic and help keep them healthy and active.

McCormick has seen first-hand the growth of senior fitness. When she first started teaching at what used to be Gold’s Gym, there were only 12 participants in the senior program. Today, she may have 12 in the first row alone of her SilverSneakers fitness class. Having seen the effects exercise had on her own mother in terms of improving her health, McCormick has dedicated her time and services for the last 17 years to helping push mature adults in reaching their fitness goals.

The Albany Area YMCA has a slew of fitness programs for mature adults including aerobic tone, balanced body, chair yoga stretch, fun fit, water aerobics and several SilverSneakers classes.

Similarly, the Southwest Georgia Council on Aging has a handful of programs as well, including line dancing, chair fitness and tai chi for arthritis.

“In these programs, we have seen an extreme success rate,” McCormick said. “A lot of our mature adults that were on chronic medication, and when I say chronic I mean pain medicine, blood pressure medicine, things like that. I can say in 17 years, I’ve seen 50 percent being able to decrease their medication. And it’s because they’re in an avid fitness program.”

Shirley Brown, an instructor at the Council on Aging, said she has seen fitness among mature adults become a priority, too. She said she’s seen the number of those enrolled in her Tuesday/Thursday chair fitness class grow from 15 to 100 and average 45 participants a session.

At the council, she said they really embrace the four F’s — friends, fun, fellowship and fitness — to create an environment that makes everyone feel comfortable.

Brown said she’s been able to see a significant shift in the attitude of people in her classes.

“It boosts your mood and your self-confidence,” she said. “A lot of people that actually started in this class, they’ll run to the back because they didn’t want to be up front. Now that they know what to do and they know how important it is, they come in and they work out like everybody else.”

The social aspect is one reason Weintraub continued to return. She admitted that she was shy at first, but after coming regularly, went from a quiet member to the unofficial greeter in charge of making others feel welcome and comfortable. McCormick said that the members of her class have created their own fitness family.

“There’s a lot of seniors who’ve lost their husbands and wives,” she said. “I’ve got one senior who lost not only her husband, but her son as well. This is her family. And anybody that reaches out, their hearts are so big that it encompasses them.”

While numbers have improved significantly, McCormick said they’re nowhere near where they could be. Though more than 400 seniors participate in programs at the Y, she said there are more than 2,500 mature adults in Albany alone who are eligible for free membership in the programs through insurance.

She noted that the programs are easily accessible, but not limited major insurance carriers. She encouraged interested members to contact their health insurance provider to see if they qualify. Individuals who don’t qualify can still sign up for classes at a discount rate.

“At the Y, we have a reduced rate to where even those that don’t have that program, they can pay a reduced fee and still participate in everything we have here,” McCormick said. “There are a lot people out there who have the SilverSneakers Fitness Program and are not even walking through the doors using it. They are throwing it away.”

Participation in SOWEGA Council on Aging programs are completely free for any senior who signs up. Music, necessary equipment and other materials are provided. Brown said everyone who is of age should take full advantage.

“There’s no cost, it’s free, everything’s provided. So we say come,” she said.

Those interested can register at the YMCA at 1701 Gillionville Rd or call (229) 436-0531. SOWEGA Council on aging classes are held at the Kay H. Hind Senior Life Enrichment Center at 335 W. Society Ave. The center can be reached at (229) 435-6789.


Date Posted: June 02, 2016
23rd Annual Shades of Gold - Senior Art Show


Click here to read original story at

In just her second year exhibiting in the event, Virgeline Duke’s acrylic painting “Birds of a Feather” was voted the Best of Show Thursday at the opening of the 23rd annual Shades of Gold Senior Art Show at the Albany Museum of Art.

The show will continue at the museum, located at 311 Meadowlark Drive adjacent to Darton State College, through the end of the month. Sixteen artists, all age 60 or older, entered 44 paintings in this year’s exhibit.

Asked if she was surprised about being voted favorite in the show by the crowd in attendance, Duke said, “Yes, I was. I just joined it because my husband started in the art class.”

Her husband, Frank Duke, in fact, kept the top awards in the family, getting first place for his acrylic “Forgotten Country.”

The Shades of Gold is an art group for those 60 and older that meets at 1 p.m. Mondays at the SOWEGA Council on Aging’s Senior Life Enrichment Center at 335 W. Society Ave. The participants, who provide their own materials, work in oils or acrylics, culminating each June with the AMA show.

Also winning ribbons Thursday were Judy McCoy, 2nd place, “Daddy’s Favorite Pastime”; Nancy Wade, 3rd Place, “Foggy Morning Turkey Trail”; Merit Award, Janet Bowen, “The Woodshed Door”; Merit Award, Lorene Gaughf, “Red Hot Peppers,” and People’s Choice, Carolyn Ross, “True Love.”

“I’ve enjoyed art and crafts of all kinds,” Virgeline Duke said, adding her entry was a paint-by-number acrylic.

Frank Duke said his wife’s painting had a great deal of detail. “It takes so long,” he said. “It’d drive me nuts trying to paint by numbers.”

His winning painting, “Forgotten Country,” was exhibited next to his wife’s “Birds.” He said his work, also in acrylic, was a composite of things he had seen.

“I pick elements out of different scenes,” he said. “The old truck — I remember my uncle had an old Chevy, and I just put that in. He had an old barn, and I put the old plow in there.”

Duke said he thought he might lose points because of presentation.

“I didn’t think I was going to win because my frame was small, it’s not an impressive frame,” Duke said. “So that’s a shock.”

While he’s had a wrist injury that’s cut down on his artwork recently, Duke and his wife say they’ve been painting together both at class and at home.

Frank Duke said this was his fifth Shades of Gold show. Virgeline Duke is relatively new to painting, but her husband started in watercolors a decade or more ago.

“Back about 10 or 15 years ago, I started in art, then time constraints prevented me from doing it,” Frank Duke said. “I got out of it.

“Then we had some rainy weather and I said, ‘I’ll try some acrylics.’ I got back in it. I just love acrylics, and I found out about the class.”

Paula Williams, executive director of the Albany Museum of Art, said she was impressed by the talent.

“Pretty amazing,” she said. “I was just talking to one of the members, and she said she’s only been painting for two years and she’s done some fabulous work.

“I think, more than anything else, it brings them such happiness to produce these works of art, and I think they’re just really from the heart and full of love, and that certainly shows on the walls.”





Accept Credit Cards

We always take security of your confidential information serious!