Xenia Rec Center is full-service to support senior lifestyle needs

The Xenia Adult Recreation & Services Center has had the same mission since its incorporation in 1968: To provide services to the aging and disabled that allows them to remain living in their own homes for as long as possible.

Attached to the Xenia YMCA on Progress Drive in Xenia, the center also offers a variety of activities and services including transportation, food delivery and homemaker services. To keep the center functioning are six full-time staff, one part-time staff member and 104 volunteers. Judy Baker has been the executive director for 21 years.

“Some senior centers are strictly recreation centers,” Baker said. “We are what’s known as a full-service center because we provide those services and activities. We are also independent. We don’t belong to the city, and we don’t belong to the Y.”

The center started out as a senior citizens club in 1966 with seven members. The group originally met at the Christ Episcopal Church and moved around to various places around the city. Today, they are housed in the REACH Center, which opened in 2019. Currently, the center serves 1,100 members, and Baker said that the center means a lot to the community.

“The community has a very high percentage of seniors, and that makes up a big part of our community,” she said. “And if you’re not a senior, you probably have a parent or grandparent. Most people want to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible. I know I do. We can make that happen,” Baker said.

What it offers

The list of services the center offers is exhaustive. Just a few of the supportive services include homemaker services, public benefits assistance, shopping assistance, Medicare counseling, food services and transportation. Baker said that transportation is by far the most popular service the center provides. The center currently has 22 vehicles.

“They’re all wheelchair equipped. We take people all over. We go to the Cleveland Clinic … we go wherever our clients need to go to get their treatments. We’re on the road every day,” she said.

Another popular service is the food. The daily lunch service is open to the public, and 70-80 people will dine at the center daily. If there is a special event or monthly luncheon event, that number jumps to 140-150 people. The cost for the lunch is around $4 for an entrée and two vegetables. The center also delivers meals for those who are homebound.

“People love our meals,” Baker said. “What we serve in the cafeteria is the food we also deliver. Some pay a reduced cost depending on income. Some of them don’t pay anything … Nobody is denied a meal for inability to pay. If they need a meal, they can get a meal.”

The activities list for the center is longer than the services list. Typically, there are five different activities offered per day from square dancing to cards to cornhole. Some are free and some might cost a small fee. There is also a billiards area where a lot of members like to meet up.

“This place is great. Us old people need somewhere to go every day. We also have pool tournaments,” said Myles McMahan, XARSC member. The billiards area is definitely the place to go have a laugh.

There are other holiday celebrations, fundraisers and trips that the center plans. This year there are trips planned for Phoenix and Sedona Arizona, a Reds game, and Asheville, North Carolina. There are also day trips to the movies or plays in the area. XARSC also has a library where seniors can read and learn how to use a computer.

“This place is the best in Ohio. They have all the programs. They do great things for people. They’ll give you a ride anywhere. I’m 84 and didn’t my first computer until I was 83,” said Tony Viney, XARSC member.

To become a member of the center, an adult must be 50 years old and pay $25 for the year. For a couple, the cost is $40. Benefits include access to the services, monthly newsletter, participation in various activities, and reduced lunch and trip costs. Baker said that the future of the XARSC is bright.

“I really think we might need to expand if it’s permitted. There is a lot of land here and I think we are going to need more room. I think we’re going to grow and continue to grow in membership,” Baker said.


  • Tel-Assurance Program
  • Public benefits assistance
  • Case management
  • Information and referrals
  • Congregate meals
  • Homemaker services
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Shopping assistance
  • Medicare counseling
  • Service assessments
  • Handyman services
  • Transportation
  • Computer training


  • Quilting
  • Health fairs
  • Games
  • Zumba
  • Dance
  • Aerobics
  • Bible study
  • Crochet and knitting
  • Crafts
  • Cards
  • Walking
  • Fitness exercises
  • The Stringbenders music group
  • Education
  • Social development
  • Organized travel tours
  • Movies
  • Cornhole
  • Billiards
  • Book club
  • Red Hatters group

Credit: Chris West

Credit: Chris West

Credit: Chris West

Credit: Chris West

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