Ridgefield, New Jersey

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Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living

Delagtes to Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living

Delegate, VACANT                                                       1-01-2024 - 12-31-2024

Alternate, VACANT                                                       1-01-2024 - 12-31-2024

Bergen Family Center


Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living

Self-sufficiency and independent living are the goals of SESCIL. The center’s activities are planned to restore, improve and maintain your physical, emotional and social health. Our dedicated instructors teach classes such as Aerobics, Yoga, Belly Dancing, and Tai Chi and even foreign languages.

The staff consists of community professionals dedicated to supporting the well-being of our members. In 1992, SESCIL took over administrative duties from the County and became a private not-for-profit organization. In August of 2019, SESCIL became a part of the BFC family.

You can join the SESCIL Singers and travel to different sites to perform. You may prefer to participate in one of our support groups that help with stress, overcoming loss of family and friends, and coping with other issues related to aging.

We can help with questions about entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Home Energy Assistance, Senior Housing, NJ Homestead Rebate, tax returns and more. You will learn about the range of community, county, state and federal outreach programs .

We are confident that you will find something of value here. The Southeast Senior Center is open to anyone  age 55 and older.  Seniors can use any of our services or join any of our daily programs after paying an annual membership fee of $120.

Who We Are

In 1978, eleven municipalities - Bogota, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fairview, Fort Lee, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield, and Ridgefield Park ,from Bergen County’s southeast region-pooled funds received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program to form Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living (SESCIL).

The focus was to provide preventive, maintenance and reparative health care programs and services to the elderly. Over the years, programs and services have expanded to include educational and creative classes, support and discussion groups, as well as transportation to and from the center. Since its inception, SESCIL has had community based, policy making members on the Board of Directors, to oversee the development and ongoing growth of the organization.

Uniquely, SESCIL provides a broad range of therapeutic services and programs that maintain and restore the physical, emotional and social health of the elderly. Self-sufficiency and independent living is the goal to avoid premature and indeed any institutionalization.

Did You Know?

Our social workers provide assistance to SESCIL members to assess what entitlement programs are appropriate. We can assist in helping to complete and submit applications. We assist members in a variety of other areas relative to their quality of life , understanding and enrolling in available programs such as PAAD, Lifeline, Senior Gold and much more.

Activities and Programs

Knitting Group
With the help of a new leader, this group is once again engaged in improving their skills. Some are beginning to learn how to knit while others are continuing to minimize their mistakes and move on to beautifully finished products. The more advanced knitters are more than willing to assist the beginners so there is always a feeling of accomplishment and a minimum of frustration as they all work together.

SESCIL Singers
This group learns a diverse repertoire of songs – spirituals, American Songbook, folk and other ethnic and musical theater favorites. They sing at Senior Residences, Nursing and Assisted Living Residences during the year. All are welcome to join us in sharing our talents and time. If interested, contact the Center or come for a visit.


  • Italian - This group meets weekly to discuss anything and everything (in Italian).There are also short readings in a very pleasant, stress free atmosphere. All levels are welcome.
  • Spanish - (Beginners and Intermediate) This group reads short stories to practice and improve pronunciation and understanding then continues the lessons in the " Spanish Now" book, adding to the base of Basic Spanish with emphasis on conversation. They also learn some Spanish songs,and how to cook some Spanish dishes. Instructor: Gladcia Drew,
  • French - This class provides a fun, social and friendly atmosphere where attendees cover a variety of topics. Conversations are constructive and interesting as each participant brings something from their diverse culture into our learning situation.

Groove, gyrate, flow, stretch, sway, or all of the above. At SESCIL we offer an exercise class for a variety of preferences, ability levels and benefits. Need some motivation? How about gaining the many benefits exercise offers:

  • Lower blood pressure Improved balance
  • Improved balance
  • Better brain function
  • Prevention or regulation of common diseases
  • Enhanced mood
  • Weight loss
  • Better mobility
  • Reduced risk of heart attack
  • Less stress and anxiety

We offer something for everyone.

The music will inspire you, while you combine dance like rhythmic movements with stretching and strength training. You’ll start by warming up your muscles, move on to cardiovascular activity, then tone your muscles, work your abdominal muscles and body core, and end by stretching. By making aerobics part of your regular schedule, you can improve your flexibility, muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness, endurance, posture, bone density, circulation, and joint health. With each class, your sense of accomplishment and self confidence will grow.


Stretch & Flex
In Stretch & Flex, strengthening exercises and stretches are used to increase muscle power, and promote flexibility and balance. The focus is on developing muscles you use: mainly the legs, hips, back and shoulders. The goal is to engage participants in a wellness program that will help them better perform the activities of daily living. Flexibility refers to a joint’s range of motion. It is likely the most neglected aspect of physical fitness, but should be a part of everyone's weekly fitness routine. Weight training strengthens and tones muscles and helps build stamina. People who are physically inactive can loose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade, after age 30. This loss is a factor in the occurrence of frailty and the likelihood of falls and fractures in older adults. Balance is vital to normal, everyday life activities. A fitness program should include coordinating the muscle and joint movements required to maintain balance. This ability is a complex process that depends on three major components: the sensory system providing information about the body's position; the brain's ability to process this information; and the muscles and joints that coordinate the movements required to maintain balance.


The Art of Meditation
Chi Kung and Tai Chi have been referred to as meditation in motion, as their flowing movements focus and relax racing minds. While doing so the body benefits from improved muscle tone, flexibility, coordination, and staving off physical signs of aging. Chi is considered to be the flow of energy through the universe. It is said to flow through channels in the human body and, if blocked, can lead to poor health.

Chi Kung and Tai Chi can be practiced regardless your level of ability, whatever your state of health Chi Kung Chi Kung involves performing movements that stimulate the flow of chi through the body. It is a tranquil, relaxing exercise, stressing balance, deep breathing and mindful movement that improves circulation and flow.

Chi Kung provides a nourishing and stimulating environment in which to relax and replenish the body, mind and spirit. A review of a July 2010 article in the "American Journal of Health Promotion" found that Chi Kung improves bone health, cardio-respiratory fitness, immune function and can help prevent falls. Its methods are simple, yet its effect is profound.

Tai Chi Tai Chi is a system of Chi Kung that, although very similar to Chi Kung, has been combined with the framework of a martial art. It therefore contains combat techniques, as well as healing ones. It offers an effective way to maintain, improve or recover health. It is an effective therapy for poor circulation, high blood pressure, arthritis, back pain, breathing difficulties, digestive and nervous disorders.

Support & Discussion Groups

  • Book Review Group -The SESCIL Book Group is jointly sponsored by the Center and the Englewood Library with the Reference Librarian leading the group. They have been in existence since 1996. They read and discuss a wide range of books including fiction, non-fiction, biographies and others. They have very lively discussions and debates relative to the books read . This is a fun-filled learning experience for all. Come see for yourself.

SESCIL is funded, in part, by the Bergen County Department of Human Services, Division of Senior Services.



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