When Tuesday morning comes around, Freda Gowling couldn’t imagine being anywhere else other than The Salvation Army’s Roxborough Corps Community Center. She’s one of dozens of older adults who belong to its Ever Young Club.
“Last week we learned about flower arrangements and we got to take all of the flowers home. They were beautiful. Today we are painting,” Freda explained. “It keeps us active. I like being useful.”
The Salvation Army’s Ever Young Club has been a cornerstone of the Corps Community Center for decades, which includes weekly meetings with lunch provided, group activities, exercise classes, as well as outings and overnight trips.
On this day, the group of 15 seniors learned to paint a beach scene with acrylics on canvas under the instruction of Roxborough Corps Officer Lieutenant Jessica Kelly.
“It’s about just being with the ladies. They all are very nice. I like it here,” said Joan Biront, who has been a member for eight years. “This is my first time painting. I do needlepoint and knit.”
Program Director Marci Cooper attributes The Ever Young Club’s success to its social opportunities and the members’ friendships.
“It is amazing that some of the members have been around for 15 years or more I believe that many of them continue to come because they really feel connected to each other,” she explained. “We have weekly devotions during our meetings and I think this is a plus, because they are aware that someone is concerned about their spiritual well-being as well,” she added.
Having fun is important at every age, but research shows it is crucial to seniors’ health and wellbeing. Laughter, levity, enjoyment, diversion—these can act as antidotes to stress, depression, and anxiety. It often involves being with others, and social connections are linked to better cognitive health in later life and lower likelihood of developing dementia. Research also shows that having social goals – such as attending the Ever Young Club weekly, facilitate seniors’ self-esteem, provide a sense of purpose and foster feelings of competence.
Bill Lundahal, who has been a member of the Ever Young Club for just a few months, couldn’t agree more.
“It’s essential to give people an opportunity to get out of bed and do something,” Bill said.
The Ever Young Club proves that friends, fellowship and fun equal a recipe for success – and that’s why Bill, Freda, Joan and so many others continue to come back week after week.
For more information on the Ever Young Club at the Roxborough Corps Community Center, contact Marci Cooper at 215-483-4120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.