Thursday, August 16, 2012

Staying Active Through Your Senior Center

Senior Thursday

As we age, our lives change.  Our children move out of the house, perhaps even out of state.  We retire from our jobs.  Suddenly, the people who used to be in our daily lives are gone.  And the less fortunate also lose their spouse.  The house is quiet and empty.  There is no one to talk to, no one to share celebrations or create memories.

The more we are alone, the more lonely we get.  This can turn into depression.  It also causes dementia to progress more rapidly. This is why it is important to stay active and spend time with others. 

One way is often right in the senior's back yard.  Many park districts and villages have Senior Centers or Senior programs.  These programs have a variety of events to appeal to everyone.  There may be weekly card games or monthly trips to the theater.  There are groups for crafting and exercise. 

This is a great way to keep in touch with friends or find new ones.  The interaction will keep a mind sharp as well as occupied.  This may spark memories and begin conversations about the past. 

If transportation is a concern, many park districts offer free or discounted rides for seniors to the events. 

So the next time you encounter a senior who lives alone, suggest they join their local park district.  Keep their minds healthy, which will keep their bodies healthy, too!

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