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The Tribe Vibe

Senior men and women slow-dancing with one another

Dean Martin had it right when he sang “Everybody needs somebody sometimes.” The need for support and encouragement, a helping hand in hard times, and the security of knowing someone has your back is as crucial to your wellbeing as the proverbial apple a day.  

According to research led by scientists at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, “SuperAgers,” defined as folks aged 80 and better who have the mental agility of younger people, have one thing in common — close friends! Having your tribe, socializing, and being active in groups is good for your health! Humans need interaction.

In recent years it has been realized that isolation is a serious health risk. The National Institute of Health states, “Our connection to others enables us to survive and thrive. Yet, as we age, many of us are alone more often than when we were younger, leaving us vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness—and related health problems such as cognitive decline, depression, and heart disease.”

This is not to say that being alone is going to give you a disease. Some alone time is certainly helpful, especially after an overstimulating holiday which can put some people in a closet eating M &Ms. Just don’t stay there. Social isolation increases the risk that you will prematurely expire due to any chronic condition.  

Fortunately, there are some simple ways your friends at CareWell Services can help you remedy the situation.  

Social Opportunities for Older Adults in Barry and Calhoun Counties

  • Join an exercise class. Strong Bones, MoveWell, Silver Sneakers, Tai Chi, Yoga, and WERQ are being offered locally.  
  • Play Obie! Interactive, virtual games for brain stimulation, coordination, and fun are projected onto a tabletop. Get social while flexing your mental muscle.
  • Go to a Lunch and Learn. Enjoy delicious food and learn something. Have a lively discussion with a new friend. Kool Family Community Center Lunch and Learns are held every Friday. To join in, register by Wednesday weekly by calling (269) 441-0930.
  • Join Heritage Commons in Marshall or Forks Senior Center in Albion where you can do all these things and more! There are many engaging activities and opportunities to expand your tribe. Music, crafts, cooking, hobby clubs—help create the activities YOU want!

Call 269-441-0930 to find out more about programs and services that can help you live your best life.  

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