Senior ‘Fare’ (Oct. 9)

by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor

When I see a phone number that I don’t recognize on my cell phone, I typically don’t answer it. The other day I got a call that appeared to be from Harrisburg, so I took a chance and answered the phone; the call was from state Representative Tony Deluca. It was a recorded message inviting me to a senior “fare.” It sounded like something that I might be interested in. The recording gave me a local number to call and register so I did and attended the event.

Anyone that knows me knows that I love things like this, free and the possibility of fun.  I made sure that I left the house in plenty of time to find my way to the location in Oakmont, park and get in line. I knew there would be a line. Conor Lamb was there and of course, Tony Deluca, decked out in a pink sportcoat. It was like trick or treat for seniors. I was able to get my flu shot for free and also signed up for my Port Authority senior bus pass. This was great; I had been meaning to go Downtown for my pass; now I won’t have to.

There were more than a dozen tables to stop and get good information. I found good pamphlets on identity theft, investments and senior services in my neighborhood. There were coffee and donuts, free T-shirts, ink pens, candy, jar openers, back scratchers and lots of “stuff” that a young senior like me could use. I was flattered that many people did not think I was old enough to be there.

I’m quite pleased with all of the things that I am being afforded as a senior citizen in Pittsburgh. While we are hearing so much negative news about Pittsburgh being such a bad place to live for African American females, I am seeing an article that says Pittsburgh is one of the best places for seniors to live. Census data shows that seniors will outnumber kids by 2035. With such a major shift in the U.S. population, it’s important that our communities are prepared to meet the physical and mental needs of older adults. The 2019 Senior Living Report from ranks the best and worst cities for seniors to live based on health care, housing options, community engagement, transportation, quality of life and workforce development. In fact, Pittsburgh is ranked number 54 out of 302 cities. While cities like San Francisco, Fredericksburg, Washington, Boston, and Brooklyn are listed among the top 10 senior-friendly cities, there are a lot of things going on that are for seniors or designed with seniors in mind.

The recent jazz series that was at the Thelma Lovette YMCA was sponsored by AARP. UPMC For Life (UPMC Health Plan Medicare Program) has sponsored walks and activities at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. These events are good for your mental and physical health. You get out of the house, walk and interact with others. All of these things are good for your health.

(Email Debbie at

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