Guest Speaker Ideas for Senior Citizen Centers

An engaging speakers series can counter boredom and loneliness.
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Because most senior centers welcome people from 55 years of age to over 100, the subject matter options for guest speakers is equally wide-ranging. Some topics, such as physical and mental health issues, are perennial favorites. Scheduling a mix of popular and unusual topics while remaining open to new possibilities will appeal to many senior center visitors.

1 Aging in Your Home

With increasing numbers of baby boomers reaching retirement age in the 21st century and wanting to stay in their homes, the accommodating "universal design" home construction concept has gained popularity, according to Nancy Thompson from the AARP. Tap into this interest by inviting someone to talk about ways to make homes accessible, liveable and safe. Schedule several speakers on the issue who can talk about remodeling options, ways to reduce clutter to make a house safe and how to install easy-access appliances, handles and toilets.

2 Money Management

Talks on financial topics interest seniors year-round, with tax topics relevant before April and holiday gift budget tips useful at the end of the year. Speakers from banks or financial planning businesses who teach seniors how to avoid in-person and online financial scams are helpful to those people who might become more vulnerable as they age. Younger seniors may need advice on retirement planning and how to think about medical and legal powers of attorney.

3 Health and Well-Being

Bring in health professionals to talk about both physical and mental health issues. Consider topics dealing with food budget management, Medicare benefits or agencies that deliver meals. Talks on keeping an aging brain active can address the benefits of exercise and mental agility, and senior center staff can provide information about the classes offered by the center, from vision restoration issues to tips on coping with insomnia and ways to improve balance.

4 Neighborhood and World Affairs

Just because members of the senior center are elderly doesn't mean they don't care about their world. Consider presentations on neighborhood, city, state, national and world issues, or invite statewide political leaders to talk about initiatives on an upcoming ballot. A visitor from a local wildlife rescue organization can give a history of local wildlife, while someone from a local college can speak about the world's trouble spots.

Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of cooking, gardening, entertaining and recreation after working for a nonprofit agency, writing grants and researching child development issues. She has written professionally for six years since then. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.