Charlotte Nash, Chairman Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Over the next 13 years, baby boomers will be reaching retirement age in record numbers, growing to more than 20 percent of America’s population by 2029.

Gwinnett’s over-60 population has already more than doubled from 46,216 in 2000 to 121,751 in 2015 and will nearly double again over the next 25 years.

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As individuals, and as a community, we need to be planning for many different aspects of that demographic shift. 

The 8,500 square-foot, $2.25 million facility will have a dining room, warming kitchen with serving line, multi-purpose room, billiards area, staff offices, and support space. It will be a nutrition site offering healthy meals that meet one-third of daily recommended intake. Programming will promote healthy lifestyles and celebrate the diversity of older Gwinnett residents with activities that promote health, wellness, and socialization.   

SPLOST also helped to fund recent renovations at the Lawrenceville Senior Center at 225 Benson Street that opened 22 years ago in 1994. The improvements are designed for individuals with low vision, hearing impairments, and mobility challenges and include upgraded ADA-accessible restrooms, an enlarged dining area, a more accessible food service line, upgraded billiards room, a new card room area, a new hearing loop system for the hearing impaired, and a new multi-use room. The existing patio has been enclosed to become a fitness room and there’s a new entry vestibule as well. The center will reopen this month.

The County’s Health and Human Services department offers similar senior centers in Buford and Norcross while Parks and Recreation operates senior recreation centers at Bethesda Park and George Pierce Park.

All our Health and Human Services-run senior centers are safe, fun gathering places for adults 60 and older with planned activities that include speakers, entertainment, exercise, arts and crafts, games, and interesting day trips. Participants get hot, balanced lunches on weekdays. There are no membership fees, but some classes and trips have small costs. Limited transportation is available. For more information, call 770.822.5180.  

Retirement is also a great time to explore the arts, travel, learn a language, or find ways to put a lifetime of experience to work by giving back to the community. Your county government has lots of volunteer opportunities for all ages available online at www.volunteergwinnett.net. 

So get out there and enjoy this time of your life!