The mission of the Edward E. Sullivan Senior Center is to provide an environment to enhance and enrich the lives of older adults by offering recreational activities, nutrition services, educational and wellness programs and social services to meet the diverse needs of all people.
Torrington's Department of Services for the Elderly was established in 1968. A dedicated staff of 64 people and 180 volunteers work passionately to administer services. The Sullivan Senior Center, located at 88 East Albert Street is a multipurpose Center, for people age 60 and over, is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., evenings and weekends for special events. Over 5,000 people participated in programming this year. A 12-page newsletter entitled,” All About Us @ the Sullivan Senior Center” is published monthly with information outlining the activities, travel itineraries, menus, calendar of events and timely informational articles focusing on topics of importance and interest to older adults. Newsletters may be picked up at the Senior Center, mailed for a nominal fee or accessed on line at www.seekandfind.com.
In 2010 a Kitchen Renovation Fundraising Campaign yielded $47,721 in private donations enabling us to successfully complete the project. A modern, stainless steel kitchen designed for efficiency and safety was custom made to meet our requirements. Rita D’Amico, of Ameriprise Financial in Torrington, represented anonymous donors who graciously contributed a total of $35,000, $15,000 to kick off the campaign and another $20,000 mid-way through. Without their generously this renovation would never have come to fruition.
The Department can be described as a hub for one-stop shopping for older adults and continues to offer recreation, information and referral, insurance counseling, Income Tax Assistance, Bereavement Support, computer classes, congregate meals, meals-on-wheels, transportation, chore services, a wide range of health screenings, flu shot clinics, Italian classes, AARP Driver Safety, educational seminars, an extensive travel program, legislative advocacy, community gardens, Wii Bowling, Bend &
Stretch, Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, seniorcize, yoga, tai chi, Qigong, billiards, craft and painting classes, chess, wood carving, Belles & Beaux Choral Group, holiday parties, Valentine Exchange w/ Torringford School students, Wednesday Jam Sessions and volunteer opportunities. The Park Avenue Thrift Shop continues to thrive and generate income for the Center’s programming.
The economic downswing continues to impact the seniors and is evident by the number of inquiries and completion of applications for assistance programs. Two thousand seven hundred and eight (2,708) applications were processed including Energy Assistance, Renters Rebate, Medicare Part D, Medicare Savings Program, Income Tax Assistance and Title XIX. Appropriate referrals are made to social service agencies, such as Protective Services for the Elderly, Legal Services, Financial Counseling, Housing, the Center for
Medicare Advocacy, Home Care and Health Services and the Community Health and Wellness Center of Greater Torrington. Notary services are available.
The City of Torrington – Sullivan Senior Center is the grantee agency for four major grants, totaling $1,860,868. The Litchfield Hills/Northwest CT Elderly Nutrition Program served 256,143 congregate and meals-on-wheels, Torrington Special Diet Meals Program served 4,386 therapeutic meals-on-wheels, the Transportation Program gave 6,823 rides to medical appointments, the Torrington Chore Program provided 6,770 hours of in home service. The grants are funded with Federal, State and Local government dollars, client donations, private donations and fundraising dollars.
Health programs are coordinated with local agencies to include full physicals, health and wellness screenings, foot care clinics, in-home assessments, nutrition counseling and flu and pneumonia immunizations. Educational classes and seminars are scheduled to keep people up to date on the latest information affecting their well-being and to teach foreign language and develop computer skills. Volunteer opportunities are numerous and contribute to the overall socialization within the center and community.
The Services for the Elderly Commission consists of seven voting members and three alternates. The Commission meets monthly to review and evaluate the conditions, needs and programs affecting seniors in the City of Torrington. The Commission forwards recommendations to the Mayor and City Councilors regarding grant funding and awarding bids for projects at the Sullivan Senior Center.