By MIKE HUGHES, Times Leader Staff Writer
BELLAIRE — Karen Titonis and Cindy Elza are working to improve the quality of life and promote an active lifestyle for the senior citizens in Bellaire.
Titonis is the director of the Bellaire Senior Center while Elza is the manager of the Carnes Senior Apartments.
The two entities are separate yet are located in the same building on the corner of 34th and Belmont Streets, adjacent to Union Park.
The pair are working to get some cooperation between their respective entities as well as with the seniors in the community.
‘‘A lot of people drive by and see its the Bellaire Senior Center, but don’t realize that in the same building we have 26 units of housing for senior citizens,’’ Elza explained. ‘‘I’m hoping to change that.’’
Like the other senior centers scattered throughout Belmont County, the Bellaire center offers daily meals and a bevy of activities for its members.
In the large community room, chair volleyball has become a favorite activity of the members.
Those same chairs also come in handy for The Silver Sneakers program, a chair exercise program that is conducted by Colleen DeBlasis from the Country Club Retirement Campus.
Conducted to up-beat music, the class is a joint venture between Titonis and Elza.
There is also a Spring Fling promoted by Medi-Home Health and CCRC held for the residents that has plenty of games to be played along with prizes and refreshments.
The residents of the senior apartments are encouraged to participate in the senior center’s activities while Titonis, in turn, encourages the members of the senior center who lived outside of the building, to participate in Elza’s activities.
Along with the chair volleyball, Titonis attempts to organize bus trips for the residents to participate in.
A trip to New York is upcoming and there is also a trip to San Antonio, Texas in the works for the first part of 2011.
Those are the lengthy excursions, but senior center members have weekly jaunts for nutrition shopping on Mondays, mall walking on Tuesdays and Thursdays and visits to local nursing homes on Wednesdays and Fridays.
After working up a sweat at Silver Sneakers, seniors can participate in a few rounds of
Bingo at 12:30 p.m.
The cooperation between the two entities in the building will only serve to benefit the senior citizens in the community. Titonis and Elza are hoping to build on that and get even more citizens of Bellaire involved.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
CINDY?ELZA, the manager of the Carnes Senior Apartments, and Karen Titonis, the director of the Bellaire Senior Center, have been putting their heads together and coming up with ways to better serve the senior community in Bellaire by working together.