Spotlight on Dr. Yadviga Halsey


Dr. Yadviga Halsey stands with some of her art currently on display at WCSC. Art is just one of her many interests. (Photograph: Megan Wiebelhaus)

Dr. Yadviga Halsey is a cornerstone of the Wallingford Community Senior Center. An artist, academic, and active participant at WCSC for the past seventeen years, she plays bridge here twice a week, has her art on display, and even brings flowers to brighten the rooms. And once, she taught a class on tripping.

“I’m an expert in tripping,” she said with a laugh.

The class, taught a few years ago, was on the Tai Chi method of walking to avoid tripping and injury. Dr. Halsey has been taking Tai Chi for eleven years and says the key to safer walking is to remember to pick up your feet. It’s not enough for the aging body to learn exercises, she says; inactive seniors lose mobility and need to use their bodies “the same way that kids do. They use everything…” Continue reading

Food fosters community


Davi Asnani attends WCSC’s Harvest Breakfast with her family on September 6. From left: Sheela Hodges, Davi Asnani, Claire Hodges. (Photograph: Dan Druliner)

Community events are a great way to celebrate diversity of thought, converse with neighbors, and share a meal. Wallingford Community Senior Center hosted its third annual Harvest Breakfast on Saturday, September 6, and more than 120 people turned out to enjoy the good company and good food.

“Really good food. Everything was really nice,” said Davi Asnani, who attended the breakfast with her daughter Sheela Hodges and granddaughter Claire. They were joined later by Hodges’s husband and other children.

“They all enjoyed [themselves],” said Asnani. “In our family, everyone comes to support each other … They want to be with seniors, too.”

Pancake Breakfasts, Movie Nights, Harvest Breakfasts, and the Wallingford Family Parade and Festival are all events WCSC has done to help bring people together of different generations. While seniors and aging issues are always WCSC’s focus, these community events foster cross-generational interaction to build a more inclusive community, a critical component to fighting ageism and isolation. Continue reading

Where were you when…?

There are days in our history that we remember like they were yesterday. What we were doing, what we were thinking, and how we were feeling are clear to us decades later. We asked WCSC participants and volunteers to share some of those moments.

Pearl Harbor

December 8, 1941: Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his “Day of Infamy” speech to Congress, leading to a declaration of war against Japan. (Photograph: United States National Archives)

December 7, 1941: Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor

“[We had] just moved into our new house in Evanston, Illinois. I was downstairs painting … I had the radio on, and they began reporting that the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor. We continued as normal for a while, and then [it] came down like a ton of bricks.” —Jan Waude (WCSC participant), born when Herbert Hoover was president





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Spotlight on Sarah Frey

Sarah Frey

Sarah Frey, WCSC’s new social worker.

For Sarah Frey, the new social worker at Wallingford Community Senior Center, a busy day is a normal day. Area seniors call or meet with her for a range of needs so varied, it’s hard to believe they fit into one job description. Perhaps someone is starting to lose mobility or has questions about housing options. Maybe they need resources to help make ends meet, are feeling depressed, or are having memory lapses. Or perhaps someone who is caring for an aging parent needs support or respite. Frey provides information or a listening ear—in only eleven hours per week.

Working together with WCSC’s part-time outreach social worker, Lara Okoloko, Frey is excited to create plans to combat senior isolation, develop new programs, and extend the Center’s reach to neighborhoods beyond Wallingford. WCSC also serves as a learning site for a University of Washington master’s of social work student intern every year, which allows the Center to further expand its social service programs and implement new projects. So far, Frey says her favorite part of working at WCSC is “meeting new and returning people every day … from the volunteers, to the staff, to the seniors—everyone’s so happy to be here.” Continue reading

New thinking for positive aging

For organizations serving seniors, overcoming the belief that aging is a period of decline requires a different philosophy as well as programs and services that allow seniors to overcome the challenges of aging and have meaningful and engaging opportunities.

Eden Alternative is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to creating quality of life for seniors and their caregivers. The organization wants to combat what it calls the three plagues of aging that they say are at the core of suffering for seniors: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.

“We don’t call it a program; we call it a philosophy,” said Denise Hyde, a spokesperson for Eden Alternative. “We don’t do things that help sustain seniors; we do things to help them to grow and be stronger.” Continue reading

Wallingford Family Parade and Festival Pictures!

Check out photos from the Wallingford Family Parade and Festival held on July 5th!  Costumes, music, dance moves, and smiles abound!  Thanks to Dan Druliner, Laura Goularte, and Ron Waldman for their photography work.

Meet Stephen and Learn About New Developments in the Field of Dementia in June’s Allies for Aging

Stephen Rasmussen Website

Prep Cook volunteer Stephen Rasmussen

Check out June’s issue of “Allies for Aging” – the newsletter that gives you a glimpse into the field of aging, as well as the programs and events you support!

June’s issue features:

  • A spotlight on Stephen Rasmussen, one of WCSC’s youngest, and most dependable volunteers!
  • A look at Momentia: the movement to create a more dementia friendly and accessible community.
  • Virtual senior centers and how technology is allowing seniors to connect with people from all parts of the country.
  • Alive Inside, the soon to be released documentary about dementia, music, and an amazing effort to rejuvenate those suffering from dementia.

Click here to read more!

Thank you for fighting ageism and supporting healthy and positive aging!