Nestled at the foothills of the Catalinas is a brand new senior center hoping to differentiate itself from many of the other assisted living facilities in Oro Valley. The Oro Valley Senior Community Center is not a live-in location, it’s an entertainment and socializing hub for one of Arizona’s retirement capitals.
Hannah Michalak and her husband, Tim, opened the Oro Valley Senior Community Center (or, A Happy Place for Seniors) after they saw the necessity for a senior center beyond the general live-in type senior homes in Oro Valley.
“We’ve seen the need for a place like this is Oro Valley,” Hannah said. “Plus, this location is perfect and I love working with seniors.”
Hannah has worked in private home care for over a decade, and hopes that a new center such as this, which can get seniors out of their homes and into socializing, can play an important role in the community.
“A lot of people have wanted a place where they can go and enjoy the day instead of just staying home in front of the TV,” Hannah said. “It helps seniors and their children.”
The Oro Valley Senior Community Center has a multitude of events and entertainment for seniors, including billiards, golf putting practice, board games, jigsaws and more. In addition, they host evening events such as poker, and are available for special events to celebrate anniversaries and weddings.
“It’s for senior-focused activities that are practical,” said the center’s public relations and marketing director, who goes by Marlon, “It can really help seniors in their day-to-day lives.”
The center held its grand opening on Friday, April 27 and have already experienced a fair amount of business and word-of-mouth buzz.
“We’re really cognizant about opening it up to seniors,” Marlon said. “We just want to be available for the community. It’s a work in progress, but the cool thing is that we’re seeing the power of the word-of-mouth.”
The center runs on a $55 monthly membership for seniors, or $40 a month with a year’s subscription. However, day passes for the games and entertainment are available as well.
“We’re definitely aiming for a positive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy themselves,” Hannah said. “Our goal is for it to be so much fun that seniors feel almost obligated to spread the news.”
Although the business has only been open for a week, employees at the Oro Valley Senior Community Center have big plans for future events. They hope to collaborate with local educators to have adult education classes, and maybe even schedule classes for the seniors to teach the youth. In addition, Marlon hopes to set up a podcast for their senior members to tell their stories (and learn a bit about technology while they’re at it).
All in all, Marlon and Hannah said the center can best be described by their slogan: “Happiness never gets old.”
The Oro Valley Senior Community Center - A Happy Place for Seniors is located at 10515 N. Oracle Road, Ste. 165. Open Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 9 am to 4 pm, and closed on Sunday. For more information, visit ahappyplaceforseniors.com.