ARMONK, N.Y.-- The Town of North Castle has started to recognize how important it is to offer programs for seniors.
Seniors have been benefiting since the town hired Liz Thomas in September 2011 as senior citizens senior recreation leader in the town's Parks and Recreation Department.
The town's seniors come to the recreation building at 40 Maple Ave. for activities and walks. Thomas also organizes boat trips, trips to New York and weekly trips to the supermarket.
"It's a very nice group of people," Thomas said. "We offer fellowship, companionship and activities for those 60 and over."
Thomas has organized activities like ceramics, yoga and a book club, detailing everything in a monthly newsletter to 200 people.
"It provides them with socialization," Thomas said. "They can sit around and talk while doing yoga for their strength."
Thomas said many seniors, particularly widows or widowers, remain isolated and suffer from depression.
"That's not good for anybody," Thomas said. "If they come to the senior center, they can make a friend. It really improves the quality of life they have. People really care about each other."
Thomas said if one of the seniors is sick, the seniors will send them a card. Birthdays are also always celebrated at the senior center.
"It's a very welcoming atmosphere," Thomas said. "They have their own community. We often get widows, and it's very hard to re-enter the world as a single person."
The Town Board made the decision to hire a senior director when they felt they were not adequately meeting the needs of their seniors.
Town Councilwoman Diane DiDonato-Roth supported hiring a senior director after seeing firsthand how the positive impact the Rye Senior Center had on her mother.
"It made a major difference in her life," DiDonato-Roth said.
The town plans to further its senior outreach, by hosting programs and for information on its public access channel.
"It's time for us to realize the importance of our seniors," DiDonato-Roth said. "Hiring a senior director like Liz establishes our commitment."
Seniors who cannot drive are transported to the senior center via bus. The bus also takes seniors to the Stop and Shop in North White Plains.
Thomas said she enjoys coming to work and interacting with the seniors everyday.
"It's great," Thomas said. "The wisdom they have is unbelievable. It astounds me. It's such a privilege to learn so much from them."
Through Thursday, the North Castle Pool and Tennis at 3 Greenway Road is offering a free swim to seniors from 1 to 4 p.m.