Commission on Aging

On May 15, 1985, the Town of East Lyme passed an ordinance that created the Commission on Aging.  The Commission is a 7 member Board consisting of interested residents of the Town which must have minority representation.

The purpose of the Commission is to:

  1. Review and analyze the needs and conditions of the elderly persons of the Town in relation to housing, nutrition, employment, health, recreation, social services, transportation, and other matters and problems within the jurisdiction of the Commission.
  2. Plan, coordinate, develop and implement programs to meet the needs and to improve the conditions of the elderly persons of the Town, upon the Board’s own initiative or on the recommendations of the Senior Citizen Administrator.
  3. Through the Senior Center Director and others, as necessary, provide coordination of such plans and programs among all related services.

The monthly meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of every month starting at 5pm. The meetings are held at the Senior Center and the public is welcome to attend. If a member of the public has a concern and wants to address the Board, there are two ways in which this can be handled. At the Board meeting, a person can address the Board during the Delegations section of the meeting. Or, a person can ask the Senior Center Director to add an item to the monthly meeting Agenda.

The current makeup of the Board is:

Joe Palazzo                  Chairperson

John Whritner            Vice-Chairperson

Ilene Harris                 Secretary/Treasurer

Marge Caste                Board Member

Barbara Smith            Board Member

Joan Bengston            Board Member

Michael Bekech          Board Member

Roseanne Hardy        Selectman and Ex-Officio


The East Lyme Senior Center can assist you or someone you know with regards to services available within our community. If you have questions, please call at 860-739-5859 for an appointment.


    CONTENT BY JUDY – Perennials, Active Agers, Baby boomers

    Just what are we? And are you paying attention to us??

    A search for a term that doesn’t offend is taking place. Trying to avoid terms like senior citizen, retiree, elder and the elderly. The question becomes what do we call everyone 55+?

    Terms are materializing that are perhaps more appropriate and appealing.

    The term, Baby Boomer was created and has been used since all those World War II babies were being born. This group has changed and revolutionized the United States as the have passed though each phase of aging. And they will and are changing and redefining the term senior each day. Just look around – they are not stationary, boring or old.

    The title, Perennial has been around for several years now and refers to blooming again and again. And yes, we do that again and again during our lives. We become young adults striking out on our own. We become homeowners, parents. So forth and so on as we parade along the paths of our lives. Ever changing and blossoming into the “new” me.

    Active Ager is a newer term and defines seniors as young at heart, tech-loving, gym-using, trend setting, fun-seeking marketer’s dream. This term might be the best fitting so far as each generation is truly younger than the generation before them.

    Whatever term you use 55+ adults are strong, happy, healthy. They are using and buying what they choose. They want the same products all ages want and use. They are not to be overlooked as they are living longer, working longer, staying healthier and maintaining their independent as well.

    Call them what you will but remember they spend over $3 trillion on products and services each year.


    Join Registered Dietitian, Alison Dvorak, for a virtual review of the healthy eating
    opportunities for older adults in Eastern CT and beyond. We will discuss programs
    funded by the Older Americans Act such as:
    Farmers Markets, Restaurants, SNAP, Grocery Delivery,
    and much more!
    Send in your questions before or during the event. Mark your calendar for Thu, August 20th at 2pm.
    This program is a free web-based event open to the public. Pre-registration is required at or 860-887-3561.


    Extreme heat is a period of high heat & humidity with temperatures
    above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your
    body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can
    lead to death. In fact, extreme heat is responsible for the highest
    number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
    Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.
    Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at
    greater risk from extreme heat.
    Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a
    heat index.
    Find air conditioning. Avoid strenuous activities.
    Wear light clothing. Drink plenty of fluids.
    Check on family members and neighbors.
    Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and


    This is old news but it bears repeating. We miss you all and hope that you have had some
    enjoyment through the summer of 2020. The staff of the Senior Center are still out
    delivering Meals on Wheels but we are anticipating our volunteer MOWs drivers to
    return beginning in August. We will likely assist with this service as some of our drivers
    are not comfortable returning at this time. If you need to contact us, you can always call
    or email us. If we don’t answer immediately, we will be back to you by the next day.
    We want to remind you all that our buses are running and offering limited transportation service. Our Diala-Ride service is also operational. If you have any questions, please call the Senior Center office.
    We are looking at offering some classes outside while the weather is nice. We will contact participants who
    were already enrolled in the programs that can go outside and see if we get enough people to make this a
    worthwhile venture. But in the meantime, we really want to show you how to use Zoom. We’ve reached out to
    a bunch of you and know many are not interested but it is not that hard and it may be a way to continue your
    involvement with the Senior Center until things get back to normal. Let us help you with this. Give us a call.
    In the meantime, we are looking at early September to resume some programming. We will be in touch with
    you all once we determine which classes we will be offering. To that end, we have included a survey for you to
    complete and return to us. Please take a minute to do so.

    Transportation News- Dail-a-Ride

    As of July 1st, the Dial-a-Ride program will renew for
    the FY20/21.

    This year, there will be no enrollment fee.

    If you were enrolled in the program last year, you do
    not need to re-apply this year.

    This year, we will be able to provide (24) one-way trips
    or (12) round trips from July 1st, 2020 to June 30th,

    As always, there is a mileage reimbursement portion of
    this grant. If someone provides you with a medical ride,
    you can request mileage reimbursement.

    This service is strictly for medical appointments in
    southeastern CT which the Senior Center cannot
    provide. It is grant funded so once funds are expended,
    no more rides can be provided.

    More details are available at the Senior Center office.