Local News

Seniors Invited To Holiday Hangout To Combat Loneliness

BEND, OR -- Special holiday hangouts are happening at the Larkspur Community Center, in an effort to help seniors connect with social activities. Leigh Lehman, with the Bend Senior Center, says about three-dozen people took part in the first event Thursday, "Frosting cookies, and petting therapy dogs, and coloring, and writing out holiday cards to loved ones, and socializing, and playing Jenga, and drinking coffee, and having fun."

Lehman tells KBND News the goal is to combat loneliness over the holidays, "This time of year, it’s especially crucial for seniors who don’t have family around or live by themselves, or otherwise have a harder time connecting, to really have that social opportunity."

She says Bend Parks & Rec also wants to reach out to people who may not realize they’ve become isolated from the community. "I see a lot of older people who are really starved for conversation," says Lehman, "Perhaps their spouse has recently passed away, or they’ve had to move or downsize recently, and so they’re sort of lacking that connection; or their circumstances have changed."

On Thursday, "There was a lovely woman who came in," says Lehman. "She’s a Russian woman and this was her first time to the senior center. And she sat down, and she frosted cookies and she wrote holiday cards, and it was so great to have her."

The next free holiday hangout at the Larkspur Community Center is Thursday, December 21, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. 


Photos courtesy Bend Parks & Rec

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