The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 14, 2014

Championing senior centers | Consultant eyes more users of sites


The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — Senior citizens in Cambria County need not worry about John Grumbling’s new position.

Some feared that the 70-year-old Westmont man’s job as a consultant to the Cambria County commissioners regarding issues involved with the Area Agency on Aging was just a nice title for the person who would ultimately decide to close more senior centers.

Grumbling, who has been a volunteer liaison for the county’s eight senior centers for the past 15 years, is adamant that is not the case.

“I’m not the hatchet man to go in and close more senior centers,” he told reporter Kathy Mellott last week. “There are no cutbacks planned.”

That’s great news for our seniors. Our region has an aging population and we need to do all that we can to support our senior centers. They are an important resource and can have a tremendous impact on the lives of people who make use of the centers.

One of Grumbling’s goals is to get more seniors involved with their local centers, especially the baby boomers who write them off as places for “old people.” Grumbling touted the many activities that the centers offer, such as exercise classes, crafts, devotions and singing classes.

“If you haven’t been in a senior center in the past five years, come down and enjoy the meals,” he said. “Don’t sit at home in the cold weather; get in your car and come down.”

We hope that seniors will heed his advice. If they don’t and senior centers do eventually close due to a lack of interest, seniors will only have themselves to blame, not Grumbling.