(Photo | Courtesy of Council on Aging of Central Oregon)
The Council on Aging of Central Oregon has announced that they are underway with the first phase of the new Senior Services Center building renovations at 1036 NE 5th Street in Bend. Most recently, the building has housed Bend Community Center — a historic 8,750-square-foot building that has been part of the fabric of Bend for over six decades.
The updated building will allow the Council on Aging to offer a broad range of services for seniors under one roof, such as nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels and free community lunches, and social connection, caregiver support and information and assistance to a diverse population throughout Central Oregon.
“We’re proud to be working to transform this amazing and historic space into a safe and welcoming place for seniors and their caregivers to seek help, socialize, and remain connected to our community,” said Susan Rotella, Council on Aging’s Executive Director. “The new space also allows us to work with partners across the tri-county and beyond to build new programs and services to support the future needs of the population in Central Oregon, so that our residents can achieve their fullest human potential throughout their lives.”
Since the landmark building was completed in 1952, many of its systems and surfaces have aged. The Council on Aging plans to eventually renovate the entire space, but since COVID-19 has forced the agency to close to in-person dining for local older adults (the Council is instead offering drive-through Grab-N-Go meals three days a week), the agency decided to start on critical renovations this summer. With an eye towards the future needs of aging adults, the work in this phase is focusing on safety and vital functional improvements.
The Council on Aging is very grateful to have received financial support for this work from charitable foundations including the Robert W. and Nancy R. Chandler Fund, the J.G. Edwards Fund, the TJ Education Fund, and the Ward Family Fund, all of the Oregon Community Foundation, the St. Charles Foundation, the Bend Foundation, as well as the Deschutes County Board of County Commissioners and many generous individuals. These gifts will help the agency remain a beacon for older adults in the tri-county, so that aging can be recognized as an asset and an opportunity for growth, ingenuity, and creativity.
“We were so impressed when [Council on Aging’s Executive Director] Susan Rotella came over and shared their plans for the future,” states Barbara Hess, the Bend Foundation’s executive secretary since 2001. “The building itself is so important to Bend. We supported the Bend Community Center in that building. Now the building is in the Bend Central District, one of the city’s designated growth opportunity areas. What could be better than supporting the Council on Aging and that building together?”
Thanks to so many community members for their support in helping us update this building to make Central Oregon the most age-friendly community possible.
To find out more, contact the Council on Aging of Central Oregon at 541-678-5483 or councilonaging.org.