Dear Jewish Community Concierge,
My parents are retiring and moving to Tucson. I want to help them keep busy and make friends. Do you have any suggestions?
Great question. These are common issues for many seniors. Luckily, Tucson has plenty of options. Don’t forget that making friends takes some time and it’s worth trying a class or group a few times before your parents decide if it’s a good fit for them. One place to start is the Tucson Jewish Community Center. The Tucson J has weekly activities that appeal to seniors, such as current events discussions, mah jongg, bridge, canasta, knitting/crocheting, art classes, book clubs, exercise and yoga classes, tennis and so much more.
Many of the local synagogues also offer book clubs, study groups, hiking groups and games. They also have amazing adult education classes on all kinds of things related to Judaism. You don’t need to belong to an agency or synagogue to participate and it’s a great way to meet other members of the tribe.
If your parents plan to live on the Northwest side of town, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Northwest Division office is a great place to meet other seniors and participate in a variety of classes and activities.
The Arizona Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Arizona, Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, Jewish Family & Children’s Services and the Jewish History Museum offer lecture series and host events throughout the year. These are often free and well attended.
The Senior Transportation Program, funded by a grant from the JFSA Task Force on Services for Jewish Seniors and Adults with Disabilities, offers transportation to synagogue services and events. The phone number to schedule a ride is 465-4323.
Another phenomenal resource is the Jewish Elder Access Program at Jewish Family & Children’s Services. Irene Lloyd is the program manager and helps seniors with many issues, from getting connected, to services for assistance. As we’ve only just touched on all of the myriad ways to keep busy, feel free to reach out to Irene or me to learn more.
Your Jewish Concierge
Irene Lloyd can be reached at 520-795-0300 x2232 or [email protected].
Ori Parnaby can be reached at 520-299-3000, ext. 241, or [email protected]. Visit jewishtucson.org to learn more.