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Club promotes senior socializing and supper

March 19, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

RANSON, W.Va. - For Metha Crouch, 70, the Senior Supper Club is a chance to get together with people her own age.

"We have a speaker and the food is good. It's very nice. It's good coming out and socialize," Crouch said. "This gets me out one day a month and it's very enjoyable."

The Senior Supper Club was started by the Jefferson Memorial Hospital in October 1995 to provide a nutritious meal for older residents, followed by a health-related educational program, said Teresa McCabe, the hospital's community relations director.

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"Health related issues are a major concern of older Americans," McCabe said. "As part of our hospital's continuing efforts to promote wellness in our community, we designed our program to offer older adults the social opportunity of dining out while receiving a health education experience."

Every third Wednesday each month, about 30 to 40 residents who are aged 60 years and older gather in the hospital's conference room for the dinner and program. The hospital charges $5 to cover the cost of the meal.

The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., but many of the residents start showing up about 5 p.m. in order to talk with the people around them, McCabe said.

Crouch lives with her daughter and volunteers at the hospital. But she said she still likes to spend time with others her age who have similar experiences.

Barbara B. Heinz, 71, of Leetown, W.Va., said she keeps busy with a storytelling program at the schools, but she makes time for the Senior Supper Club each month.

"The hospital's giving us good information," Heinz said. "It's really good for this small of a community to have a program like this."

Health care professionals have spoken on a wide-range of topics since the Senior Supper Club started: influenza, medications, nutrition, breast cancer, heart disease, and the importance of exercise, McCabe said.

"It's been a great experience to watch this program grow over the past year," McCabe said. "I truly believe that our Senior Supper Club members look forward to their dinner at the hospital each month with their new-found friends."

Ed Morgan, 72, and his wife, Nancy Morgan, 68, said they like to come each month, not just for the meals and health lecture, but also to see people of their own age.

"We like it," Ed Morgan said. "It's good food and a good program."

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