Free programming means Wilton seniors ‘won’t have to worry about money’ at Senior Center

Wilton Senior Center programming will now be free to senior residents for a full calendar year after Director of Social Services Sarah Heath suggested the change to the Board of Selectmen. The programming will remain free until April 30, 2023.

Wilton Senior Center programming will now be free to senior residents for a full calendar year after Director of Social Services Sarah Heath suggested the change to the Board of Selectmen. The programming will remain free until April 30, 2023.

Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — Senior residents will now be afforded the opportunity to enjoy all Senior Center programming at no cost for a full year.

The idea was unanimously approved at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting and initially brought up by Sarah Heath, the town’s social services director, who said offering free programming and classes to the town’s seniors would greatly benefit them.

No fees will be charged until April 30, 2023.

Some of Wilton’s senior residents, like Dale Gordon, are newer to town and/or to the Senior Center and feel like this announcement came right on time.

Gordon first moved to Wilton several months ago. She saw the different activities offered at the Senior Center and decided to give it a try.

“It was all quite new to me,” she said.

Gordon said she soon came to find out that “there was a fee for this, and a fee for that” when looking at programming, albeit a relatively small fee.

She said she was willing to pay it but averaged only about one visit a week to the Senior Center. She has been especially enjoying attending the various lectures with individuals about their fields of expertise and bingo night.

With the news that programming would now be free, she said it was likely that her appearances at the Senior Center would become more common.

“I thought, ‘to do away with the fee, wow that is great.’ It opens up a lot more possibilities for me,” Gordon said. “You won’t have to worry about money for this and that. It’s fabulous.”

And that is exactly what Heath said was the goal of the new endeavor.

“We hope more people will come to our senior center for the quality classes that we offer and to feel safe and comfortable socializing,” Heath said following the meeting.

Gordon thinks other seniors will be upping their trips to the Senior Center as well. She also applauded the move to free programming for senior residents who may already have to pay for a trip to the Senior Center via services like Dial-A-Ride.

Selectman Ross Tartell said he fully supported the idea and reiterated the importance of seniors having ample access to the center’s resources.

“It shows that the Wilton community really values their senior citizens,” Gordon said. “That they are trying to really help them, and that is wonderful.”