A sneak peek at the Council on Aging’s renovations

Oct 11, 2021

During the worst stretch of the covid-19 pandemic, Wareham’s Council on Aging remained closed to the public and unable to provide many of the services it ordinarily offers to the town’s seniors.

Fortunately, there was at least one silver lining. With the Council on Aging — which is located in the basement of the Multiservice Center — closed to the public, the town’s Municipal Maintenance workers were able to give the space a facelift.

“The town was wonderful,” said Missy Dziczek, director of the Council on Aging. “Maintenance came in and they painted all of this. [...] It looks much much better.” 

In the gym area, the walls have been painted a shade of muted blue. The Council also set up a lounge-style seating area in the gym, complete with a couch, a coffee table and other additional seating. 

“We’ve just never had anything like this,” she said. 

Now, the Council on Aging is back open and progressively bringing its programming back to the newly revamped space, Dziczek said.

“We play chair volleyball, we have yoga, we have knitting classes,” she said. 

In the coming weeks, the Council hopes to begin offering the Social Day Care program. The Council’s Meals on Wheels program operates out of the gym in the mornings, delivering 150 meals to seniors each day. 

“Slowly, we’re doing things,” Dziczek said. “Bingo is a big one here, so we want to start up bingo again.”

In addition, artist Pam Rainey decorated the walls with a mural featuring a girl reading a book. The artwork is prominently on display right when seniors walk through the Council on Aging’s main entrance from the Multiservice Center parking lot.

Dziczek explained that during this year’s Chalkfest the Council on Aging held a small contest to name the girl depicted in the mural. The Council invited people to submit names, and Dziczek said there were more than 50 submissions. Members of the Council voted on the submissions without knowing who was responsible for each one.

In the end, Kat Jones’ name suggestion was selected, and the avid reader on the Council on Aging’s walls was officially named Hope. 

Even with the renovations, Dziczek said the Council on Aging would benefit from a new space. For that reason, she said she was supporting the effort to secure the John W. Decas Elementary School to be used in a way that would benefit the community. The Decas School article, which was brought forth via a citizens’ petition, will be up for votes at Town Meeting on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. 

“The Council is certainly supportive of the Decas effort because we would love to have more space, brighter space,” she said. 

She said that while the Council on Aging’s space is “looking a lot nicer — but for 8,000 seniors, it’s just not enough room.”

For now, she said the improvements to the Council on Aging’s current home at the Multiservice Center were a step in the right direction.

She said that even if the Decas citizens’ petition article passes at Town Meeting, the Council on Aging wouldn’t be able to move in “for a while,” so it was great to get the Council’s home “as nice as can be” in the meantime.  

Dziczek said the Council on Aging plans to hold an open house sometime in November so that people can see the renovations firsthand.

“We want people to know the Council on Aging is alive and well,” she said. “Even though we want bigger space, let’s start with what we have here.”