New Senior Center Director Open to Ideas

By Chris Wangler
March 18, 2024

 

Former Waltham city councilor Pat O’Brien is the new director of the Council on Aging and he’s already leaving his mark.

He plans to kick off the Red Sox baseball season on Tuesday, March 9 at noon with an opening day event featuring the Pizzi ice cream truck, hot dogs and Cracker Jacks.

The popular senior center at 488 Main Street offers an impressive range of programs, including tax prep assistance, line dancing, movie nights, pickleball, bocce and much more.

Down in the basement, men play pool and darts on a new board that was just installed. Pat is planning to install some new bathrooms for seniors using the basement amenities.

He’s got his own vision but wants seniors to share their ideas. “Anyone can walk in and share their thoughts with me for the senior center,” he said.

 

Pat took over from Marybeth Duffy, who stepped down in early January after 16 years as COA director.

The senior center job was a good fit for an insurance professional with decades of experience with Medicare benefits and other elder needs. 

His mom Marie, a former Waltham schools English teacher, passed away recently, and Pat helps care for his father Gene.

During nine terms as a city councilor, he became familiar with many Waltham seniors, and even served on the council committee in the early 2000s to establish the Waltham Council on Aging at its current location.

A Waltham native and Cedarwood homeowner, Pat (WHS Class of ‘88) has been married to an Our Lady’s teacher for more than twenty years and the couple have two teenage daughters.

Looking ahead, he says keeping seniors active is at the top of his list, but also wants to create a great place to meet and hang out.

“There’s a lot more to the senior center than you might think,” he said.

File photos