Wednesday, January 26, 2011

DeWall Senior Center

Director, Zetta Bowling (r) with a senior center participant (whose blindness gives her a keen appreciation for the fellowship of the Center).

The Dewall Senior Center provides meals & something to do for senior citizens in the far reaches of Clay, Leslie, & Bell Counties in SE Kentucky. Because of their distance from county centers & isolated settings in tiny hollers along narrow mountain roads, these elderly people are all but forgotten by those providing services in their counties. It becomes impossible for them to participate in any senior programs in their county seat, even if they were inclined to do so (and few are). So Red Bird Mission provides a senior center to try to meet those needs, even though they receive little funding from surrounding counties & struggle to pay the cost of transporting, feeding, & entertaining those who come. Well, entertaining isn’t quite the right word, but you know what I mean. Meals also go out from here on the days of the week they’re open, & occasional side trips take the ladies to a local fabric store for quilting materials. Mostly the group shuns the new WII in favor of the quilting frame or visiting, and all are encouraged to participate when Marilyn Brock (retired public health nurse) comes twice a week for chair aerobics (Arthritis Association approved, of course). A very small number of those who are eligible in the area actually participate, but the Senior Center is a good antidote for the loneliness & isolation of life in these hills.

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