The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local News

October 2, 2011

Getting Together: Senior Lunch Bunch enjoys companionship, movies, games

Programs follow semiweekly lunches

PENDLETON, Ind. — Jeremy Adams is bringing a new game to the table at the LifeStream Senior Cafe (aka the Senior Lunch Bunch) at the Pendleton Community Public Library. Dominos are flying after the seniors get their fill of a nutritious meal.

“I learned how to play at a game night,” said Adams, marketing director for Miller’s Merry Manor in Chesterfield and Middletown. “I really wanted to play something besides bingo with the seniors. This game allows you to talk more and is more mentally stimulating.”

The Senior Lunch Bunch began about two years ago when Arlene Shannon, adult programming and outreach specialist for the library, gathered enough signatures on a petition to convince LifeStream Services to open a Senior Café site in Pendleton.

“I particularly enjoy working with seniors and I felt like there was a real need in the community for senior activities,” said Shannon. “Anderson is too much of a drive for so many of them — especially in the winter.”

Meeting on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, seniors gather for a nutritious meal provided by LifeStream Services for a donation in whatever amount they can afford. Following the meal, Shannon organizes games and educational speakers.

“I enjoy the people, the friendships,” said Danny Holland, 64, Vietnam veteran who has been attending since the group was formed. “We have really good open talks, games, movies, and there is always an open floor. Anybody can bring up anything they want. It feels like a big family.”

The Senior Lunch Bunch has been averaging around 30 participants, but the numbers have dwindled lately due to some members being moved into nursing homes and some deaths. Shannon is concerned because if the group doesn’t consistently attract 15 people, LifeStream will discontinue the program.

“I like the companionship,” said Karen Haskell. “I like everybody here. I needed out of that apartment and I need to be busy.”

“These people have really formed a community — they really care about each other,” said Shannon. “It just gives you a warm feeling inside to see people that really enjoy each other’s company.”

“This group is unique because they are so close,” said Adams. “Sammy (Endicott) was moved to Miller’s Merry Manor and I couldn’t believe how many phone calls I got from these people asking about how he was doing.”

Adams brought Endicott to visit his friends at Tuesday’s Senior Lunch Bunch and is working with Shannon to bring an extra opportunity for seniors to gather at the library and play dominos together.

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