New center intends to give seniors second chance at life

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:08 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - City officials said a recent study shows communities in northern and southern Kansas City aren’t exactly aging gracefully

“Kansas City’s 3rd and 5th districts really have the life expectancy gaps in KC,” said City Councilwoman Rayna Park Shaw.

Garrett’s Place, a new adult daycare center in KCMO, is working to change that by giving seniors a second chance at life.

“I call it senior-cizing,” said Paul Blanton, “where we sit down and kick the ball around.”

Blanton has been coming to the facility daily for the past year.

“I’ve loved it ever since,” Blanton said.

Garrett’s place is the brainchild of Wanda Williams.

“I said, ‘God, what should I do?’ And, it just came to my mind: adult daycare program,” said Williams, who is the chief executive director.

It’s a program packed full of activity. Seniors are kept busy with everything from games, to arts and crafts, to socializing, to movies and of course music.

“So, we’ll do rhythm and blues,” said Williams. “We’ll do gospel. We’ll do country. You just turn it on for them and, I mean, they have a ball. They love it.”

The program even includes activities outside the center.

“We take the seniors to tour the region, or we may lunch in downtown KC,” said Williams. “They’re coming here, but they don’t want to just be here. I know I wouldn’t want to be here all day, so you have to think outside the box.”

Williams said she was inspired by her decades-long work with special needs patients and her own mother’s struggles with aging.

“Not doing anything,” said Williams. “Just looking at the TV. The TV looking at you. My mind was set to do an adult program for them.”

So, she came up with Garrett’s Place. It’s named after her own father.

“Because my Dad had a big heart, too,” Williams said.

Now, Garrett’s Place is the heart of the KCMO community.

“It’s helping people get the care they deserve,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Mayor Lucas was on hand Tuesday for the center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. He said centers like Garrett’s Place are particularly important in Kansas City.

“People in their 90s,” said Mayor Lucas, “who have a chance to have an activity each and every day. That is going to be vital to help people stay alive, stay vibrant, and to stay involved.”

Now, Garrett’s Place plays a vital role in helping an aging population stay young at heart and living life to his very fullest.

“It has been proven time and again that if you have somebody who was just at home with no activity, with nothing to do, usually that has a negative effect on life expectancy,” said Mayor Lucas.

“It makes you feel younger it makes you feel important, like you’re an important part of the community,” said Blanton.

If you would like more information about Garrett’s Place or would like to enroll a loved one, you can call the facility at 816-418-7840.