Groups merge to better serve Hudson seniors
by Michele Collins
The Hudson Senior Citizens Group has merged with Hudson Senior Network to provide more services and activities for Hudson’s older adult community. Now known as the Hudson Senior Network, the group’s organizers say the combined effort will be less confusing to seniors and will provide a more concerted effort to reach them.
“The Hudson Senior Citizens Group has been around for almost 50 years,” said Cindy Suchan-Rothgery, who along with her husband Jim, has led that group. “My husband has served as the president for several years, and it is time for him to step down. So, moving forward we will combine forces with the Hudson Senior Network to let all of our members, as well as new members to the network group, know all that is being offered in Hudson.”
Heidi Schweighoefer, a member of the Hudson Senior Network committee, said the network is the result of a senior advisory group started by former Mayor David Basil in 2018. The 11-person committee supports the Hudson Senior Network and includes Basil and former City Manager Jane Howington.
The senior network group was active during the pandemic, reaching out to seniors who might have been housebound with things like delivery of food and medication, even snow shoveling. Since that time, the network has grown and so has its lists of activities offered.
According to Schweighoefer, most activities take place at the new city hall building and include offerings like fitness classes, lunch-and-learn programs and social events. A list of current opportunities can be found at letstalk.hudson.oh.us/senior-activities.
She said one recent addition was a group that plays mahjong.
“We had some seniors who wanted to get together and play, and now we have a group with a set time and location,” Schweighoefer said.
A newsletter, written by Suchan-Rothgery and accessible from the letstalk.hudson.oh.us/senior-activities website, features upcoming events, as well as a monthly recipe to try at home and information about the senior-focused “North of 60” HCTV program.
The volunteer-run Hudson Senior Network is not funded by the city. Most programs are free, but donations are gratefully accepted, Schweighoefer said. The Friday Lunch Bunch, a group of seniors who eat lunch at various Hudson-area restaurants, does require attendees to pay for their own meals.
Schweighoefer said that the network is looking for sponsors or advertisers to help offset costs of the activities. Several local senior citizen residences and assisted living centers have provided food for some of the events, she said.
The group is also open to opportunities for grants and other types of funding.
“We are a group of dedicated volunteers; we need help and support from the Hudson community,” said Schweighoefer. “There are many seniors in the city of Hudson, and as a community, we should embrace them.”
More is being planned for the remainder of 2023, according to the network group organizers, including programs on brain exercises, wreath-making, AED fire & EMS safety, cyber scams, and self-defense, just to name a few. A summer trip to Portage Lakes and holiday event are also on the schedule.
The committee is conducting a survey online to find out what other types of classes seniors would like to attend.
Seniors interested in learning more about the senior network should register on the website and take the survey.
“We really want to reach out to all of the seniors in our area, those over age 60, to let them know we are here and we want them to join us,” Schweighoefer said. ∞