Monday, February 20, 2012


I met Mr. Roy three months ago when he visited the Northside Shepherd’s Center, which occupies a section of the main Senior Citizen Services building. Roy loves to play Wii Sports, but coming to the Center more often is difficult because Roy is legally blind. When we met, he told me, “I can see you’re there, but I can’t see your face.” He can see the outline of the Wii bowling alley, though, and he will play peers, staff members, volunteers, kids, or anyone who picks up the Wiimote. Roy is a social butterfly who is at ease cracking jokes in groups of strangers. As his ability to see the world around him faded, it quickly became apparent that spending most of his day alone, staring at the blurry walls of his apartment, isn’t his idea of a good time.

Isolation can be a serious problem for seniors and it sometimes leads to depression or substance abuse. Addressing hearing loss early is an easy way to prevent isolation, as seniors who have trouble hearing may be less likely to engage others in conversation. If you or someone you love suffers from hearing loss, a trip to the doctor’s office might solve the problem and open the door to opportunities for interaction. Many seniors benefit from using technology to maintain contact with old friends or to make new ones. Online photo albums and instant messaging services can help keep seniors connected to the outside world. Plus it’s never too late to learn new skills – just ask Roy! You can learn skills like these from classes at neighborhood senior centers.

To make sure seniors like Roy have a place to go, Senior Citizen Services runs seven neighborhood senior centers, in collaboration with Fulton County. Seniors age 55 or older are provided transportation to local centers for activities that strengthen, stimulate, enliven, and empower. Centers provide lunch and create opportunities for developing critical relationships, socializing, health and wellness activities, arts and crafts, field trips, and education.
This is just one way that we make sure that no Atlanta area senior is hungry, cold or forgotten.

For more information, see

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