2016-03-17 / Senior Savvy

Put Some ‘Spring in Your Step’

By Florence Archambault

Florence Archambault, of Newport, is 84 years young and well-known for her community volunteerism and teaching and writing family history. Florence Archambault, of Newport, is 84 years young and well-known for her community volunteerism and teaching and writing family history. Is spring here, or is spring not here? That is the question. I guess we should just enjoy the good weather when we have it and hope that winter is over, but one can never be too sure. There have been times when we have had significant snowfall in March and April, and even one year on Mother’s Day.

But it is that time of year when new classes are starting at the senior centers, so get out of the house and move around a little.

Newport’s Edward King House is offering the usual exercise regimes, as well as art classes and writing family history classes. To keep in step with the times, they are hosting an adult coloring group, “Color Me Calm,” every Tuesday from 10-11 a.m. The sessions are free but popular, so reservations are a must. A weight-loss support group meets every Monday morning at 10:30 a.m.

Beginning on March 17 from 5-6:30 p.m., and on the third Thursday of every month thereafter, a special interest group program entitled “Who Am I, Why Am I Here, Where Am I Going?” is open to all King House members and the public. It will explore how human consciousness exists outside the body. The aim of the group is to help participants touch upon and deepen their understanding of what has been learned about human consciousness from people who have had near-death experiences. The group’s facilitators are active members of the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS) who have personal experience in this area. Register in advance at the King House.

On Wednesday, March 23, from 10-11 a.m., Meghan Sloane of Child & Family will present “Scam Alerts for Older Adults.” You will learn how to spot various scams, avoid them, and what to do about them. The session is open to the public.

And don’t forget the free AARP tax preparation sessions on Mondays from 9 a.m.- noon until April 11. Walk-ins are welcome, and no appointment is necessary.

You can register for these classes online at edwardkinghouse.org or by calling 401-846-7426. Better yet, stop by the center to pick up a registration form and check in for lunch at the best deal in town. A full-course meal, from soup to dessert, is $3. If you sign up for a morning class, stay and have lunch; or if you sign up for an afternoon class, come early and eat beforehand. You must make a reservation the day before.

There are also two programs that might be of interest to those of you who are physically able to take part in more active endeavors outside the home and want to add to your income. The first is the East Bay Foster Grandparent program. If you are 55 or older and want to share your experience and compassion, you might have what it takes to be a foster grandparent. Among the benefits is a taxfree stipend. You will be trained and placed at a school, Head Start center, or other nonprofit facility where there are children or youth. A representative is at the center on Fridays from 9-4 p.m. Call 401-435- 7876 for details.

The other program is the Senior Companion Program. If you meet income guidelines, are in good health, and enjoy working with elders, you should consider becoming a Senior Companion volunteer. This program also includes a tax-exempt stipend, mileage, and a flexible schedule. For more information, call Jenny Martinez, the Division of Elderly Affairs Senior Companion Program director, at 401-462-0569.

These are just some of the many opportunities available for you to take advantage of now that the weather is more pleasant. Get yourself going and put some spring in your step. Active seniors remain happy and healthy seniors. It’s all up to you.

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