Participants find fun, food and fellowship at Greencastle Senior Activity Center

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Rita Cline likes "getting out and having fun" at the Greencastle Senior Activity Center.

To which her husband, Robert, says, "Amen."

Rita Cline called bingo for the pre-lunch group on a recent morning at the center at 10615 Antrim Church Road.

The two regulars are back in the swing of things since the center reopened part time in May and full time on June 14 after being closed for more than a year due to COVID-19. The Tuscarora and Waynesboro senior activity centers also are fully open now and the others in Franklin County are moving in that direction.

Patty Schuyler is glad to be back with her friends at the Greencastle Senior Center.

"We had a little virus thing ... I'm glad to be back and see my friends," Patty Schuyler said. "I like this place."

"Of course I missed it," said Ruth Crunkleton as she kept her eyes on two bingo cards. She also volunteers at the center, helping with meals, Bible study and the flowers outside.

"It's great to be back, we have a great leader and great meals," said Sally Snyder, who played bingo at a table with her husband, Tadd, and Diane and Ron Myers.

Sally and Tadd Snyder, left, and Ron and Diane Myers play bingo at the Greencastle Senior Activity Center. Sally Snyder says the center has 'a great leader and great meals.'

"We need you to come and try it out," said Snyder, who has been going to the center for 24 years.

"The participants love being back," said Beth Jones, senior center coordinator.

On the menu

Although the center was closed during the pandemic, volunteers still came in one day a week to pick up and deliver a week's worth of frozen meals to shut-ins.

"Our main goal was to keep everybody fed during COVID," Jones said.

Except for the height of the pandemic in late 2020 and early 2021, grab-and-go meals were available for seniors to pick up who do not qualify for home delivery. The grab-and-go option concludes at the end of July.

"It's worth coming to the center, the meals are good," Robert Cline said.

Betty Myers, Martha Buhrman and Mary Webb play bingo at the Greencastle Senior Activity Center.

For example, the upcoming menu includes baked ham with pineapple, sweet potatoes, Harvard beets, wheat bread and a cookie one day and turkey chef salad, creamy cauliflower soup, whole grain dinner roll and mixed fruit on another. Meals come with a half pint of 1% milk, and chocolate milk is served on Thursdays.

Activities for seniors

Attendance is still a little lower than it was before COVID-19, but Jones recently signed up five new participants because of the pandemic. They are moving to the area to be closer to their children.

"I think people have realized the value of family," Jones said.

Both veterans and newcomers have a full slate of things to choose from at the center, which is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Rita and Robert Cline like 'getting out and having fun' at the Greencastle Senior Activity Center.

For a healthy mind, there are tables games, puzzles, a pool/shuffleboard table and a 500-bid card club, as well computers, craft time, painting class, a library and the Knitting Krew.

For a healthy body, there is tai chi every Thursday, an exercise group three times a week, monthly pressure checks and regular programs on topics like dehydration.

Many of the participants also find volunteer opportunities at the center.

Ruth Crunkleton plays bingo at the Greencastle Senior Activity Center, where she also volunteers with meals, Bible study and the flowers outside.

Music to their ears

A whole other group of seniors will be tuning up for August when Jam Nite returns.

"I've had many calls about it," Jones said.

Jam Nite generally draws dozens of music aficionados to the center and is held the first and third Thursdays of the month from 6 to 9 p.m.

What's new

Jones and Tonya Zeigler, from the Fort Loudon and Path Valley senior activity centers, are preparing to present a six-session Virtual Chronic Disease Self Management Workshop for people 60 and older on behalf of the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging. It will be offered online from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and Sept. 7.

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"Many people have more than one chronic condition," the workshop description says. "The program is especially helpful for these people, as it gives them the skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their healthy, as well as to help them keep active in their lives."

It will help them focus on:

  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance
  • Appropriate use of medications
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals
  • Healthy eating
  • Making informed treatment decisions
  • Disease-related problem-solving
  • Advance directives

For more information about the Greencastle Senior Activity Center, contact Jones at 717-597-2020 or eajones@franklincountypa.gov

For more information or to register for the Virtual Chronic Disease Self Management Workshop, contact Jones or Zeigler at 717-349-7227 or tazeigler@franklincountypa.gov

They also plan to offer the workshop in person at some point.