All kinds of activities for helping you find your balance

Photo by Lori York. 
Bone Builders is a no-impact, weight-training program designed to prevent and even reverse the negative effects of osteoporosis in older adults. The class is offered on Tuesday and Friday mornings at the senior center.
Photo by Lori York. Bone Builders is a no-impact, weight-training program designed to prevent and even reverse the negative effects of osteoporosis in older adults. The class is offered on Tuesday and Friday mornings at the senior center.

According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors 65 and older. Improving strength, balance and fitness is important so that adults can stay active and reduce their chances of falling.

At the Charlotte Senior Center, there are a variety of exercise activities that can help reduce risks of falling, including Bone Builders, pilates, yoga and tai chi.

There are also opportunities to be physically active outdoors. This month you can be inspired to be physically active by Charlotte resident Carrie Fenn’s experience hiking the long trail, or you can enjoy the beauty of nature by joining the gentle, walking-hiking group.

Community services

AARP free tax preparation
Wednesday, March 27, 1-4 p.m.
Tax-aide volunteers will prepare tax returns, provide tax assistance based on your provided information or documents and maintain confidentiality while reviewing and preparing it. Register in-person at the senior center or call 802-425-6345 to schedule an appointment to get your taxes done for free. These tax clinics are open to all ages. One-hour appointments available at the senior center 1-4 p.m. Registration required.

Weekly Age Well Grab & Go meals
Pick up on Thursdays, 10-11a.m. Registration required by Monday for Thursday meal. $5 suggested donation but not required. To register, call 802-425-6345 or email.

Navigating Veteran Administration benefits
Tuesday, April 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Bob Stock, veterans outreach specialist with the South Burlington Vet Center, will assist veterans and their families with VA benefits and related issues. No registration necessary. Drop-in anytime between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Presentations & events

March artist exhibit
The series “Farm and Field” by Margaret McSwain is based on capturing the beauty of Charlotte landscapes, farming spaces and locally grown food. As an oil painter, Margaret has been drawn to pastoral scenes and the subtle differences in light and seasonal changes on the land

Hiking the Long Trail
Thursday, March 28, 1 p.m.
Can you imagine hiking 280 miles in 19 days? Have you ever been curious about hiking the Long Trail and what’s involved? Join Charlotte resident Carrie Fenn as she talks about her adventure in 2023 hiking the entire Long Trail solo. She will discuss how she prepared for the hike, the planning involved and how it all went. Free. Registration appreciated.

Board & card games

Backgammon league
Tuesdays, 6-8:30 p.m., & Saturdays, 2-4 p.m.
Backgammon is a tactical table game with a 5,000-year history. The group welcomes players at all levels. Email with questions. Cost: $3.

Duplicate bridge
Mondays, 12:30-4 p.m.
This group plays an intermediate level of duplicate bridge using the basic American Contract Bridge League conventions. Names are drawn for partners, and friendly games ensue. Those unfamiliar with duplicate bridge are welcome and paired with an experienced player to help for a few weeks of open dialogue training. The group is always looking for new players who have basic bridge knowledge. Cost: $3

Brain games
Fridays, 2-4 p.m.
There are many ways adults can stimulate their brains to increase mental health, improve memory skills and contribute to overall well-being. Research finds that positive interaction with others and engagement in stimulating group activities sharpens cognition and increases memory ability. Join to play various games, share laughter and enjoy one another’s company. Some games are available, but also feel free to bring your own.

Shanghai mahjong
Tuesdays, 12:45-3:45 p.m.
Whether new to or experienced in the Shanghai style of mahjong, all are welcome to join this informal get-together. For questions email Nan Mason.

Tuesdays, noon, & Fridays, 12:30 p.m.
Samba is a new version of canasta that has quickly become very popular due to its variety of melds, which keeps the game interesting. If you are curious to learn how to play samba, call Sandy Armell at 802-425-3248.

Exercise activities

Bone builders
Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & Fridays, 11 a.m.-noon
RSVP Bone Builders, a program of United Way of Northwest Vermont, is a no-impact, weight-training program designed to prevent and even reverse the negative effects of osteoporosis in older adults. Bone Builders consists of a warm-up, balance exercises, arm and leg exercises and a cool down with stretching. Free. No registration required, but there is paperwork to complete.

Gentle yoga
Mondays, 11:00 a.m.-noon
A gentle yoga class that focuses on breath-led movement, building bone strength and improving mobility, balance and flexibility. Suggestions are given for adapting the practice. Please bring a blanket or pillow to sit on. Suitable for all levels. Cost: $10 a class. No registration required.

Pilates fitness
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
This pilates class is for folks 55+ and is designed to be challenging yet safe. It includes upper-body strength work with hand weights and mat exercises. The group will work core muscles to improve balance, strength and posture. Cost: $8 a class. No registration required.

T’ai chi practice
Thursdays, 11 a.m.-noon
T’ai chi is an exercise program for mind and body training to help improve balance, flexibility, stability and overall health. This is not a class with instruction, but rather a practice for students familiar with the form. Cost: Free. No registration required.

Gentle hiking group
Thursday, March 28, 9 a.m.
Enjoy the beauty of nature. Come walk at a gentle pace with other seniors. The group will meet each month for a congenial non-strenuous walk. Location to be determined based on conditions of the local walks. Meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at Charlotte Senior Center. Call Penny Burman at 916-753-7279 with questions. Registration required. Free.

Yoga strength-building practice
Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-noon
Join Heidi Kvasnak for an integrative practice that builds strength and stability while maintaining a sense of ease and spaciousness in both body and mind. The group will practice longer-held postures that strengthen muscles, bones and core, as well as breath-led flowing movement, including sun salutations. Prerequisite: Must be able to easily get down to and up from the floor with or without props. Cost: $10/class. No registration required.

Menus are posted on the website.

Monday lunches
Served weekly 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., or until the food runs out. Suggested lunch donation $5. No registration required.

Senior center info:
The senior center offers programs for adults 50 and older from Charlotte and surrounding communities. Priority is given to seniors, but programs are open to adults of all ages. Programs include weekly lunches, daily exercise classes and many opportunities to connect through board and card games and art and language programming. Interested in receiving a weekly reminder about what is happening? Sign up for the email newsletters at The “Week Ahead” email is sent out on Friday mornings with activities, lunch menus and special programs for the upcoming week.

Lori York, director
212 Ferry Road, Charlotte