When Qussie Murphy retired two years ago, she saw a new opportunity to become more active and dedicated to improving her health and well being.

“I didn’t want to just stay home, cook, eat, and watch TV,” Qussie shares. “I wanted retirement to be fun. At first, I visited another senior center, and I just didn’t feel like it was the right place for me. It was very low key. When I went to the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center it was a whole different experience. People were welcoming and active. There was music playing and people dancing. It was exciting.”

Combining favorite pastimes with healthy lifestyles at WPSCC

Among the many programs that attracted Qussie was the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI). Within a classroom setting, AUNI helps members build dietary habits that promote healthy lifestyles. For Quissie it also provided an outlet for one of her favorite pastimes – cooking.

“I love to cook. I never have a chair in the class. I’m usually one of the people up there with the instructor, helping to prepare ingredients or cook the food,” Qussie said. “When I started the class, it was only offered on Mondays. However, it was so well attended that the instructors felt that they needed to expand. At one point there were 45 or more people coming. So now we offer the class on Mondays and Wednesdays.”

As one of the programs most active participants, Qussie has used the information she has learned to help her on her own journey to improved health and wellness.

“My interest in eating better started about two years ago, around the same time I joined the Center. I didn’t always eat a healthy diet, but now, in part thanks to the Center, I’m very conscious about what I eat,” Qussie notes.

“I am very happy to share that in two years, I have gone from weighing around 225 pounds to a current weight of around 147 pounds. I feel better and I feel energized. The food we eat is fuel, and now I’m proud to be fueling my body with the right stuff.”

Every day, the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center makes a significant and meaningful impact for older adults in West Philadelphia by providing programs that educate, empower, and enrich lives. These programs have never been more important.

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“At the Center, our goal is to add years to people’s lives,” says Helen Rayon, the health and wellness coordinator for the Center. “The programs we offer, like AUNI, help prevent major health issues, highlight resources for healthy living, and truly transform lives. We are always ready to help someone improve their health, and it’s wonderful to watch their journey.”