The Village Of Wellington Offers A Growing List Of Programs For Senior Citizens Serving Seniors

The Village Of Wellington Offers A Growing List Of Programs For Senior Citizens Serving Seniors

For many senior citizens, getting older can mean a loss of independence, fewer relationships and less social interaction. In the eyes of Wellington Community Services Specialist Jenifer Brito, this is unacceptable. Her job is to help provide for those needs among the local senior community.

Having been around seniors since childhood, Brito has seen firsthand the challenges many face on a daily basis. Life continues its onward march, as their pace begins to slow, and their companions start to dwindle.

While it isn’t true of all seniors, Brito has found a general feeling of depression to be common among the elderly. This could be a result of the loss of loved ones, limited mobility and a lack of social interaction.

It is Brito’s mission to help the seniors in Wellington overcome these challenges and thrive as the valuable members of society she knows them to be.

“Many of them come in, and they are seeking help, and they don’t know what they’re looking for, but they know they’re looking for something,” Brito said. “When I meet with them, I try to gauge what that is, and I find out what their likes are, what their dislikes are, and how I can plug them into things.”

While working with — and for — seniors, Brito discovered that as people age, one of their crucial needs is to have sufficient social interaction. This, Brito explained, is a necessity of great importance.

“I don’t think at any age that’s different,” Brito said. “We all want to have that, whether you’re 90 or six.”

For this reason, Brito has taken on a number of projects to help initiate social opportunities for the senior population. The new Feel Good Fridays program is one such opportunity.

Partnering with Baptist Health South Florida, Wellington’s Community Services Department has been bringing in instructors for exercise classes catered to seniors — such as dance and chair yoga. They have also added an educational component — a lecture following the classes presented by a visiting doctor.

“This is a new initiative that we started on Fridays because we saw that Fridays were an open day where we were able to engage the seniors and get them into the Wellington Community Center with programing,” Brito said.

The best part? Participants are invited to attend Feel Good Fridays absolutely free. This goes for both Wellington residents and non-residents.

In order to offer classes to seniors at no cost, Wellington has partnered with a number of sponsors, such as Wellington Regional Medical Center, Florida Blue and Baptist Health South Florida.

Other activities available for the seniors are technology classes, bingo, Zumba, Aqua Zumba and more. Then there are the parties, such as an annual luau and the upcoming senior prom.

Brito has also planned health fairs and a volunteer fair, and she plans to see them both become an annual practice.

“We did that initiative because many seniors do want to volunteer, but it’s really difficult for them to call 10 different places and find out volunteer opportunities. So, we brought it to them,” Brito said of the volunteer fair.

Unless it is an outdoor-specific activity — such as Aqua Zumba, which is held in a heated pool at the Wellington Aquatics Complex — all events take place indoors to make it as easy on the seniors as possible.

The senior prom, for example, is scheduled to be held on April 7 in the Village Park gymnasium. Among other things, Brito is planning to have a live band playing nostalgic hits from bygone days.

“It’s going to be really pretty,” Brito said. “I’m very excited about the prom because it’s not only going to bring the seniors together, but it also might facilitate meeting new friends or companions, and that’s really important in our senior population.”

Recognizing the need not only for fun but an understanding community as well, Wellington offers a monthly support group for caretakers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Taking place in the Wellington Community Center, this is open to seniors and non-seniors alike.

The Wellington Community Center also includes a Senior Lounge where individuals or groups are welcome to relax, play games, watch TV, enjoy snacks, drink coffee and just enjoy the atmosphere.

“It’s really looking at what the needs of the seniors are and how we can help with those needs,” Brito said.

Pat Keeler is a Wellington resident who frequents the Senior Lounge to borrow books, use the free Wi-Fi and socialize.

“I think it’s always important to be active in the community you live in,” Keeler said. “The seniors community are people your own age, so you have a connection with them, and I’ve made some good friends.”

According to Keeler, a member of the Wellington Seniors Club, having these services for the seniors is important for both their social and emotional health.

“Many seniors — their families don’t live around here and they’ve outlived some of their friends. I’ve been fortunate, but it’s easy for a senior to become isolated,” Keeler said. “And this helps them not to do that.”

It is Brito’s passion to help seniors who are searching for connection in their community, and she meets with them over the phone, in her office, in a public place or in their homes in order to do just that. There is no pressure to commit or get involved, but Brito wants to make sure seniors know their options.

“I just want them to know that I will continue to work hard to bring more programming to them, and more events,” Brito said. “And I feel that yes, we have a lot going on, but we’re always going to have more going on.”

To learn more about opportunities for senior citizens in Wellington, contact Brito at (561) 753-2476 or, or visit