The Graceland Center for Purposeful Aging will host an information showcase Saturday at the Proctor Recreation Center to highlight the need for more community programs and activities for seniors.
The event for adults 50+ will include presentations focusing on positive emotional, physical and social health.
“The main message is this: aging can be a healthy process, and can be embraced and enjoyed,” said Peggy Jacques, Founder and Executive Director of Graceland. “Graceland’s vision is to create a culture where aging is respected and dignified. That’s our vision, to create that culture here in Peoria.
Graceland formed in 2020 as a non-profit organization focused on helping seniors connect and stay active. Jacques said the dearth of programs for seniors in Peoria stands out among larger cities in Illinois.
“Out of the top 10, we’re the only city that doesn’t have a community center for seniors to gather and socialize and learn and access resources and so on,” she said.
Jacques acknowledged that not many people know about Graceland and what it offers.
“A lot of people think our type of service is like an adult daycare center – where for people who really need help it’s wonderful to have – or it’s a residential (centre), and that’s not It’s really neither,” she said. “It’s a center for seniors only who can socialize, learn and find purpose in life, have opportunities to volunteer or take classes.”
Saturday’s event at Proctor’s begins at 10 a.m. and will last until about 1 p.m. Speakers include Dr. Joseph Babione of UnityPlace, Daryl Carlson of the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter, and Tahari Allen of the OSF Strive Trauma Recovery Center.
Jacques said that as a relatively new nonprofit, they don’t yet have enough funding for a permanent location, but they hope to do so within the next two years. She said they hope to hold more showcases in the coming months.
“What we would like to do is hold events in the Peoria area at different locations and try to educate our community to help them know what we need here in the Peoria area and why we need it” , said Jacques. .
“As life changes, the more intentionally active we are with our minds and with our physical well-being and our emotional and social well-being, then the less disease people have, the better they are able to protect themselves. against some of the complications of chronic diseases, especially dementia, and they can age better in place.