Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ February 2020

Nearby Senior Centers Offer Many Programs

By Bette Eberly-Hill

The seven Senior Centers in the County are great resources for seniors (age 55 or older) in our community.  The Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center on Forest Glen Road is the only one with no membership fees.

There are many different programs — recurring scheduled ones and “special” ones — in art, educational lectures, fitness, games, health, music, sports, and technology.

One of the most popular programs is called “Senior Fit,” which is a free exercise program that is offered every morning except Thursday at MSSC (Mon., Wed., and Fri. at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., Tues. at 9 a.m., and Sat. at 9:30 a.m.), and at 1 p.m. Tuesday and Thursdays at Wheaton SC.  It is sponsored by Holy Cross Health and Kaiser Permanente, with paid instructors, and lasts 45 minutes.

The Senior Centers provide many opportunities for individuals 55+ to participate in individual and team sports, and a huge variety of fitness programs.  Sports programs currently include:  billiards, badminton, basketball, pickleball, softball, table tennis, and volleyball.  Many of these are open gym drop-in programs, which only require individuals to purchase a $30-per-year Gym Pass.  The pass is good at all Montgomery County Recreation community center open-gym programs, and all skill levels are welcome.

All of the Senior Centers except Wheaton serve lunch.  Lunch is served at noon every day.  The cost of a meal is just under $6 for guests or spouses under age 60.  For seniors age 60 and over, a donation is requested.  Advanced registration is requested so they know how many meals to order, so call to reserve a meal at least a week in advance.  Some Senior Centers also offer a “waiting list” for those wishing to have a meal at the last minute if there are any extra meals available.

There is free curb-to-curb transportation — Monday through Thursday — to five of the senior centers (those below with an asterisk).  This free service is available to County residents 55 and over within five miles of the Senior Center they’re attending.  It is sponsored by the Jewish Council on Aging.  Pick up at homes starts at 7:30 a.m.; drop off starts at 3 p.m.  Call the senior center you want to attend to request a ride.

There are programs to meet the needs of older adults in early stages of diagnosed memory loss as well as to provide care partner respite.  Each of the Senior Centers has its own newsletter with a calendar of events; see them online at the website below or call your local Center.

Some special programs at MSSC include an AARP Driving Course, a butterfly garden, a yearly yard sale (probably in May this year), music programs such as the Akhmedova Ballet, and lots of programs by Community Partners.  To enhance programs with additional funding to supplement county funds, the Friends of MSSC, a nonprofit board of volunteers, was formed.

For more information, visit

The Seven Senior Centers in Montgomery County

Center Street Address City Telephone
Margaret Schweinhaut
Senior Center (MSSC)*
1000 Forest Glen Silver Spring 240.777.8085
White Oak Senior Center* 1700 April Lane Silver Spring 240.777.6944
Wheaton Senior Center 11701 Georgia Ave. Wheaton 240.773.4830
Long Branch Senior Center* 8700 Piney Branch Silver Spring 240.777.6975
Holiday Park Senior Center* 3950 Ferrara Drive Silver Spring 240.777.4999
North Potomac Senior Center 13850 Travilah Road Rockville 240.773.4805
Damascus Senior Center* 9701 Main Street Damascus 240.777.6995

*Free curb-to-curb transportation offered Monday through Thursday.

[Eberly-Hill lives on Pinewood Avenue.]   ■

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