The Martin Center: Helping Adults Age Well

Martin Center, Brentwood

In our continuing series celebrating Brentwood’s 50th anniversary, today we are writing about the Martin Center. In 2002, the Martin Center was built to serve adults over 50 to ensure they remain active and healthy. Martin Center is owned and operated by Fifty Forward, an organization devoted to providing older adults with innovative care and an assortment of activities and services to ensure they enjoy the highest quality of life.

“I believe we built [the Martin Center] because the need was, and still is, in Brentwood,” said new director, Jodi Theobald. “It’s a great place for older adults to live and work, and we wanted to be part of the community.”

Many programs are offered through the center, with the day trips being the most popular. Whether it’s a trip to Leiper’s Fork to shop and enjoy the art galleries, or out to lunch, Theobald says that the members really enjoy taking trips with friends.

For those wishing to do more traveling, Martin Center, through Fifty Forward, offers travel all over the world. One group just recently returned from Nova Scotia, Canada. Cruises are another favorite. Here in the states, one group just wrapped up a fall colors tour in Maine. They have also gone to the Grand Canyon.

“While we do repeat some popular day trips,” said Theobald, “our week-long or overnight adventures change. They are all popular. I think it’s because older adults have a chance to travel with individuals who have similar interests and likes but, at the same time, folks get to meet new people.”

For those not hit with the travel bug, Martin Center offers many social activities with different themes each month. One of their newest offerings is Martin Chefs, where some of their members lead classes on various culinary topics. These activities provide members with an opportunity to spend time with others and laugh with one another.

“Our Card Crusaders are … such a treasure to our center. They volunteer many hours making cards [that are] available for purchase at the Center, at the Frist, the Chattanooga and Nashville Zoos, and the Nashville Airport” said Theobald. “Proceeds from the sale of the cards helps to benefit the Center. Over the years, [from money this group has raised], we have purchased the Center bus, televisions, and furniture, …just to mention a few [of the items].”

Another of their popular groups is the Martin Masters. These are a group of artists who paint together during the year, then present their work for sale in the fall to help fund the center. This year the event took place in mid-October. It helps the artists show their work, and it is a wonderful way for those just beginning to collect art to get to meet artists and buy an original work, and many pieces are very reasonably priced.

Other classes include everything from AARP Safe Driving Classes to yoga. There is something for just about any interest.

What keeps the Martin Center relevant to seniors is their understanding that they must constantly be evolving and changing to keep up with the desires of today’s seniors, their needs and passions.

“… [W]e know [that] what we offer today and next year isn’t what older adults 10 years ago were interested in learning and doing,” added Theobald. “We also have supportive care services here in Brentwood for older adults who might need additional support to live at home, or for adult children who are providing care. We are really proud to support and champion all individuals over the age of 50.”