The Ballard Northwest Senior Center extends a very warm welcome to you. We are located in the Ballard area of NW Seattle about one block from the Hiram Chittenden Ballard Locks at 5429 32nd NW Seattle, WA. 98107.
Ballard NW Senior Center was founded in October of 1973, it was created by senior citizens of Ballard, Magnolia, and the surrounding areas and originally funded by money from the Model City Program. The center was created to enhance the lives of local seniors by providing vital programs.
For 48 years the Ballard NW Senior Center has continued to provide a wide variety of programs and services that change and adapt to meet senior need. The center has grown to serve over 4,000 seniors visit annually.
All of our programing is aimed at improving the physical and mental well-being of seniors, to promote independence and connect lives. Health & Wellness services include Drop-In Wellness Clinic, Bastyr Naturopathic Clinic, Foot Care, Dental Hygiene, Acupuncture, and Massage. Our clinics are free and our services are low cost. We also provide weekly speakers on a wide variety of health and educational topics as well as disability support groups such as Parkinson’s, Low Vision, and Memory Loss.
Food Programs includes daily lunches Monday through Friday prepared from scratch for seniors and the disabled. We serve over 10,000 meals annually all on a donation bases. Through partnerships we also provided a secondary Food Bank location for seniors to pick up fresh bread, fruit, vegetables, dairy, and meat.
Social Work programs offer group and individual counseling, memory support, homeless advocacy, home visits, support groups, art therapy, goal setting and resource planning. We also provide legal, financial, tax, Medicare, safe driving, and senior rights consultations all without cost to seniors. Our support groups help people dealing with loss, relocation, family issues, and difficult transitions.
With over 22 exercise opportunities each week our seniors enjoy choosing from three levels of yoga, balance exercises, Falun Gong, table tennis, dance, and more. We have one of the most active EnhanceFitness programs in King County and have provided self defense classes for seniors and the disabled. Active minds are encouraged through our innovative and active educational programs. Our classes are taught by local artists, published authors, and professional educators. We offer a wide variety of literature and language classes, interests groups, art and theater workshops, technology presentations and hands-on opportunities. Partnerships with the Public Works, Seattle Rep., Taproot Theatre, and Market Street Singers have opened the preforming art world to many.
One woman came to the center because she said “this was the only place she felt she could turn to”. Life had dealt her some blows and she felt scared and alone. After her husband’s unexpected death she stayed home, didn’t eat well or exercise, lost interest in family and friends, didn’t take her meds regularly and “contemplated ending it all”. She didn’t want family or others to know or feel sorry for her so she pretended everything was fine. But, she knew she needed help and remembered a neighbor saying the center had helped her with problems so she came in. She was warmly greeted and given a tour, several invited her to sit with them for lunch. She listened to the lively conversation and watched as people genuinely cared about each other. She came again the next day and the day after that and the day after that and continued on. She talked with the professionals that could help her, began exercising every day, ate lunch with new and supportive friends, took a class and began to feel connected again. “The center gave me a reason to live and I am finding joy again. The center made each day better”.
Our dedication to our motto “Where Friends Meet Friends” has provided a welcoming environment were all feel comfortable, safe, and accepted. We provide an ever growing selection of social and support groups. Our Bookstore was created specifically to be a comfortable environment where people could mingle. Card groups abound. Group trip explore and adventure together. Friends gather for meals, parties, and to celebrate holidays, personal accomplishments, and just because they can.
With a very small staff, volunteers are the life blood of this center. We average between 300 and 500 active volunteers each year. Our senior volunteers are a part of every program and assist in very area of the center. We also provide job training and skill enhancements for high school and college students, disabled individuals and seniors returning to work. We have provided internships in partnership with the city of Seattle for low income teens and Volunteer Training Programs for seniors volunteering throughout the area.
We promote growth through partnerships with other community organizations and programs including food banks, local theater, retirement homes and assisted living agencies, Boys and Girls clubs, resource assistance programs, local schools, colleges, and universities, service organizations and churches, Ballard Hospital and rehabilitation centers, Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Public Library, transportation programs, Ballard Alliance formerly the Chamber, other senior centers, and the Special Olympics. Just to name a few.
As a community partner of Sound Generations we are able to offer our seniors access to Meals On Wheels, additional Community Dining locations, Minor Home Repair, Volunteer Transportation, Hyde Shuttle, SHIBA, and Pathways Information and Assistance.
The center is vital to those who come through our doors. We provide a sense of consistency and belonging as we support the activities that help people “be all they can be”. I am privileged to be a part of people’s journeys…getting to see the happy, successful and joyous times, the dreams-come-true times, the overcoming-obstacles times and also the challenges and, occasionally, the sad times. The center makes a remarkable difference in people’s lives. Many seniors have told us “thank you for saving my life.”
Ballard Northwest Senior Center’s Mission is to promote the emotional, social and physical well-being of older adults. The Center is a place “Where Friends Meet Friends”.
We envision a just society where aging adults and those who care about them can live their best lives. In our healthy community, empowered elders who need help will know where to find information, advice and support. Those who can will offer support and experience a greater sense of purpose as they connect with meaningful service opportunities. We are building programs that include and engage older people and those who love them in an interdependent community. A special responsibility for bringing this vision to reality is ours as the premier provider, promoter and champion for improving the lives of older adults.
Equity and Inclusion
The Center embraces the belief that cultural, social and other differences should be respected and celebrated. We all are responsible for providing and supporting a culturally competent environment that will enrich our interactions with each other and our products and services.
It is the policy of Senior Services and the Ballard NW Senior Activity center not to discriminate on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sensory, physical or mental handicap, political ideology or sexual orientation in employment or the applications for employment or in the administration or delivery of services or any other benefits. On request, people with disabilities will be provided with reasonable accommodations.
Not Just for Seniors
Our name has “senior” in it, but you don’t have to be a senior to enjoy the many events, celebrations, and special fun here at the Ballard Senior Center. Join us for bingo, a BBQ or any special event. See you soon! To find events you might enjoy, check out our Events Calendar. And remember Membership is available to all ages. See you soon!