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We often like to report about other organizations in the region who have wonderful programs in place to help those people who are aging in place or who are living with a disability.

The Western Regional Wisdom Center, a collaborative partnership of Adult Resources, Inc., the Lutheran Service Society of Western PA and Sewickley Valley YMCA, is one such organization. The Wisdom Center offers area seniors a “senior center-without-walls” concept in the Airport Corridor region of Allegheny County.The center utilizes this approach in order to meet the current and emerging needs of seniors through a holistic design that incorporate programs geared to their spirit, mind and body.

It’s an innovative, cutting-edge program that brings programming and activities directly to seniors, rather than have them go to senior centers. They go where most seniors congregate, such as malls, parks, and libraries.This center is driven by the desire of the seniors themselves. A Council of Elders consisting of 8-12 seniors in the area determines the programming and activities for the Wisdom Center. It gives them an opportunity to make a significant contribution to all the other seniors in the airport corridor.

An ambitious goal of the Wisdom Center is to train teams of facilitators, consisting of a Robert Morris University student and a senior, and send them to high schools to have a discussion about life. This would create a cross generational viewpoint of life–more of an open exchange of ideas and giving wisdom back to a younger generation. This idea is based on author Christopher Phillips’ book, Socrates Café.  Phillips travels around the country, gathering people to discuss philosophy and participate in “Socrates cafes” in bookstores, senior centers, elementary schools and universities, and prisons.

Another goal of the center is to form community partnerships with various organizations in the Airport Corridor.   For instance, over the years, it formed a partnership with the Mall at Robinson where a kiosk was available with all types of information about the Wisdom Center and also information about hot topics pertinent to seniors, such as Medicare and Social Security.

For more information on the Western Regional Wisdom Center, call 412.264.0870.

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Read more: Senior Centers Without Walls Helping Seniors Remain Active