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.


    We believe in what we do – Content by Judy

    We believe in what we do. We all have thought something like this in the past. We have all been very convinced on one issue or another. We then surround ourselves with likeminded people.

    Together our voice grows stronger. Ideas flourish. Paths and networks expand. We can do all of this in a very serious way, over very serious issues but we can also do this with laughter and create a better world in a good way.

    Laughing is a very healthy thing to do. Laughter is actually a physical reaction consisting usually of rhythmical, often contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. It is a response to certain external or internal stimuli according to Wikipedia.

    Did you know there is even a National Let’s Laugh Day? It’s March 19th and we can laugh about the fact that I missed it by a few months!

    Life can be hard. Things happen to us and around us that we don’t understand. We can hit low spots. But we need to move forward. We need to look for what makes us smile. It could be a puppy, a baby, a joke, or a movie. But once we can smile it’s easier to laugh. So go watch a funny movie!

    When you laugh it lowers your stress hormone. You can burn up to 40 calories with a good 15-minute belly laugh. Your abs get a workout.  Laughing can be better for you than a cup of coffee. One minute of laughter boosts your immune system for 24 hours. 15 minutes of laughing equals the benefits of 2 hours of sleep. So, here’s a question – if I’m awake during the night for a few hours I only need to laugh about it and I’m good???

    The average man smiles an average of 8 times a day. The average woman smiles 62 times a day. Babies smile an average of 200 times a day. So, now lets all be babies!!! At least for part of the day.

    I once attend a laughter yoga class and they tell you “Fake it till you make it!” If you force yourself to laugh and to keep laughing before you know it the laugh becomes real, and it feels good. Try it and you’ll have a better day!!

    Why do giraffes have long necks?

    Because they have smelly feet.

    What goes tick-tock and woof-woof?

    A watchdog

    What are the two things you can’t have for breakfast?

    Lunch and dinner

    Why is a bad joke like a pencil?

    Because it has no point

    Why isn’t there a clock in the library?

    Because it tocks too much

    Did I make you giggle, chuckle, belly laugh????

    I hope so. Have a better day!

    Get Out There!! – Content by Judy

    New Age???

    New Time???

    New Start???

    Do any of us know what to call this time we are now living? I can’t figure it out myself. I just know I’ll never live a ‘normal’ life again. That was before COVID. Now I just know things a different and I need to create the life I want to live.

    Things will be different because we are different. But how do we want this new ‘different’ to look? Should we be making a new plan? Finding new avenues? Reassessing those things we wanted but didn’t do before?

    My husband and I started a list several months ago of things we were going to do after COVID. On it I added go to bars. My husband said, “But we don’t go to bars!” “No, but we’re going to start because it’s something new and different. Who knows we might even like them!” So, we’ll see…

    That’s sort of a silly example of trying something new. Going somewhere we might be uncomfortable. Experiencing a new environment. But it will get us engaged in a new way and who knows we might even make new friends or find people we used to know.

    I want all of you to experience that new day. A new start. For you to act and move forward. Even if you don’t know what ‘IT’ is. Work on ‘IT’. Figure ‘IT’ out. Make a plan. Pick a day of each week to try something new.

    It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee in a new place. You’re not alone. There will be others looking for the same things you are looking for. Say hello as you walk by. You just need to get out there.

    The next day maybe go for a walk. Then reach out and ask someone to go out to eat or visit a museum. Even if they can’t go then, see if they want to meet up another time. I can almost guarantee they do! They are lonely too. Invite a few friends and family over for a game night or a cookout. Reach out to an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. Put yourself out there. Volunteer. Go to the library. Join the gym. Sign up for a class at the Senior Center.

    And if a few things don’t go as you thought they would, remember it’s ok. You’re trying. Finding a new path can be hard and it will take time. But you just might end up in a totally different place than what you thought you wanted. And it can be even better than you ever imagined!!

    So be sure to remember aging is a privilege. A time to explore. A time for growth. A time make new connections with new people and places.

    As we travel into this new world don’t forget to reinvent yourself and your life!!

    July- Upcoming Music Classes

    Ukulele Lessons Level 2    

    Mon thru June 28th


    New session starts on Sep 13th and ends on Dec 13th (no class on Oct 11th). In person instructor led lessons for  advanced beginner and more experienced students on Mon at 10:30am. Registration begins Sep 1st. Class fee $60R and $65NR.


    Guitar Lessons – Advanced Beginner

    Mon beginning Sep 13th thru Dec 13th


    New session starts Sep 13th and ends on Dec 13th (no class on Oct 11th). In person instructor led lessons for advanced beginner and more experienced students on Thu at 11am. You must register for this session. Registration begins Sep 1st. Class fee $72R and $79NR.


    Beginner  Ukulele Lessons

    Mon beginning Sep 13th thru Dec 13th


    New session starts on Sep 13th and ends on Dec 13th (no class on Oct 11th). In person instructor led lessons for  advanced beginner and more experienced students on Mon at 10:30am. Registration begins Sep 1st. Class fee $60R and $65NR.


    Jam Session

    Mon thru Sep 20th


    New session starts on Jul 12th and ends on Sep 20th (no class on Sept 6th). Shirley Lan & Joe Rice will lead this in person Jam Session . Any person who can play an instrument is welcome. Must register your interest to participate for the session.



    The Senior Center is offering fun, private guitar and ukulele zoom lessons from the convenience of your home.  Free complimentary 1st lesson. The cost is $20 for a 30 minute session or $90 for a 4 week run. Contact the  Senior Center to register. We will need your phone number and your email address.

    July- Upcoming Arts & Crafts Programs


    All classes are now session based. 3 month session length.


    Painting with Friends

    Tue thru Sep 21st


    New session starts on Jul 6th and ends on Sep 21st. In person at the Senior Center every Tue of the month at 9:30am.Registration begins Jul 1st.


    Craft Time

    2 classes  –  Jul 13th & Ju

    Tue Jul 13th and Tue July 27th


    2 classes  –  Jul 13th & Jul 27th.  In person instruction with Candy.  The cost for each craft is $5.00 per person. Registration begins Jul 1st.


    Stitch Happens

    Wed thru Sep 22nd


    New session starts on Jul 7th and ends on Sep 22nd and will be held on Wed at 9:30am in person. You must  register your interest in this session. Registration begins Jul 1st.


    Drawing Class

    Thu thru Sep 23rd


    New session starts on Jul 8th and ends on Sep 23rd and will be held on Thu at 10am in person. You must         register for this session. Registration begins Jul 1st.



    Thru Sep 21st

    New session  starts on Jul 12th and ends on Sep 21st and will be held on the 1st Mon of the month at 1pm (due to the holiday, this month is the 2nd Mon) – the 3rd Fri of the month at 5pm and the last Tue of the month at 5pm. Registration begins Jul 1st. This is an indoor program. Fee is $2per participation. No fee for the Mon time period.