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Senior News: Social engagement is better for a healthy lifestyle

Loneliness has been described as “when one door is closed, but the ‘other one’ has yet to open.” Or “an ‘inner worm’ that gnaws at the heart.” It can visit at any time in our lives. But circumstances and events we encounter as we get older make it easier to be more withdrawn, alone and less likely to be involved in social activities and organizations: the loss of a life partner or difficulties with our hearing, seeing or walking.

But we are social beings meant to be with others. And although it may feel more comfortable just talking to ourselves (at least that person knows us), research has found that social engagement is better for both our physical and mental health. (Maybe because there is someone there to kick us out of our funk and encourage us to keep moving; or be that cheerleader who believes in us when we start losing confidence in ourselves.)

But if you are one of many who don’t find socializing easy or natural; and who react to a large group of strangers (meaning two or more) the same as a dentist’s drill, you might find these suggestions helpful.

First, social encounters can be tricky, but don’t interpret them as rejection or hostility and then blame yourself. Focus on the positive and not on what you may have thought went wrong.

Second, it may be easier to meet new friends while attending a class or lecture, something you can talk about with others instead of having to start a conversation from scratch.

And last, but most important, give it a chance. Whether attending Meals on Wheels lunch or a church service for the first time, most groups have established social relationships built over time. And although they are open to new friendships, don’t expect them to welcome you like the prodigal son. Give yourself time to establish your own relationships.

Life has much to offer during all stages of our lives. But you have to keep your eyes open and your antennae up. Get out, engage in conversations and develop new friendships.

Ten percent of all health care spending comes from fraud and abuse. The next Tuesday lecture will present a Webinar produced by AARP called “Protect Yourself from Healthcare Scams and Frauds.” The presentation starts at 11 a.m. at the center and is open to everyone.

Here is another opportunity to confuse your brain with what it doesn’t expect: the Center’s music announcement for October 29th - from back to front. (But be forewarned, next week I will step it up a notch.)

.couple a for $3 or person per $2 is donation suggested the and p.m. 7 at starts music, p.m. 6 at open Doors .enjoyment dancing and listening your for favorites pleasing crowd playing be will “Boys Dufur The” ,October of 29th the on night Tuesday next center the At

The brand of O-gauge model trains popular in the 50’s was made by Lionel - which Bill Van Nice remembers Bill Schonley, Portland Trail Blazer Radio Announcer, using to nickname Lionel Hollins "The Train”. (And this week’s winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on November 16th is Jerry Phillips.)

For this week’s “Remember When” question, who wrote the satirical comic strip described by John Updike as “a comic strip with fire in its belly and a brain in its head” that ran for 43 years from 1934 to 1977 featuring the Yokum clan of hillbillies; as well as colorful characters Marryin’ Sam, Moonbeam McSwine and Senator Jack S Phogbound? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with an original copy of “The Life and Times of a Shmoo” published in 1948.


Wednesday (23) Oven Baked Chicken

Thursday (24) Taco Casserole

Friday (25) Philly Beef w/ Sauté Onions and Mushrooms

Tuesday (28) Salisbury Steak

Tuesday (29) Stroganoff over Noodles


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