Senior Social bowls over visitors with entertainment and information

December 04, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Vernon Newlin, left, and Miriam Paul of Hagerstown speak with Trudy Joslin, seated, of the Make a Difference Breast Cancer Screening Program Tuesday morning during the Senior Social at Robinwood Professional Center in Hagerstown
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Zumba and Wii sports had no age limit Tuesday, as senior citizens were salsa dancing and playing Wii Bowling at the Robinwood Professional Center for the 2012 Senior Social.

The annual four-hour event provided senior citizens with information about health and living choices they can make, two meals and several forms of entertainment.

“Every time they have it, I come,” Falling Waters, W.Va., resident Mary Henson, 61, said. “It gets us out.”

Dr. Stephen J. Kotch of the Meritus Medical Center Emergency Department and local historian Roger Keller addressed a group of seniors. For the Healthy Holidays Fair at 11 a.m. senior citizens were able to visit displays from Meritus Health and the community that included health tips, safety information and living options.

For entertainment, in addition to Zumba led by group fitness programs teacher Anita Binder, the seniors also played Bingo and were treated to a musical holiday performance by students from The Learning Center of Meritus Health.

The event was held in the Newman auditorium of the building except for the fair.

Hagerstown resident Carl Rith, 74, who attended the event for the first time with his wife Gloria, 68, said he learned about a lot of options in the area he was not aware of.

Gloria Rith added that the event was entertaining and informative.

“I really enjoyed the dance program, and I enjoyed (Keller),” she said. “This has been very helpful. I’ve been looking for exercise programs and they have a brochure to help us, and I thought the speaker from the emergency room (Kotch) was informative to help us talk about preventing falls and things like that in the winter time.”

There was an entry fee, which helped to pay for the event along with sponsors including Golden Living and Medical Emergency Professionals, Meritus Health Foundation Special Events Coordinator Danielle Martin said. Some of the funds will go to programs and services that “directly benefit seniors,” including a program where seniors can walk the building and cancer screenings.

Golden Living provided Wii Bowling for the seniors.

“The goal of this is to make seniors aware of Meritus Medical Center and everything that we have to offer,” Martin said. “It also gives community awareness for the different programs that are around.”

The event has been going on for eight years, according to Martin, and it used to be part of the Festival of Trees, which included decorating and putting trees on display along with a variety of family related activities. The festival discontinued after 2012, but the Senior Social was able to go on.

“We revamped the event this year to kind of give it a little bit more of a holiday feel,” Martin said. “We mainly focus on the Meritus Health side of what we have to benefit them.”

Community organizations at the Healthy Holidays Fair were Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, Emeritus Senior Living, America Association of Retired People, Golden Living Center, Julia Manor Health Care, Reeder’s Memorial Home, Sleep Breathing Disorder Center, Susquehanna Bank, and Washington County Maryland Commission on Aging. Meritus Health Affiliates also were there, totaling 16 organizations.

Senior Social committee members include Kelli Palamar, Barbie Harshman, Jeanine McVicker, Suzie Menard and Anissa Wade.

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