By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: June 2008
Senior Circle Advisor Marsha Chisum (center) and members (from left) Sandy Sanders and Tobey Donaldson.
Are you a senior in Rogers County who wants to make new friends, get active, travel, learn, grow and simply have some fun? Claremore Regional Hospital has the perfect opportunity for you.
The Senior Circle program offers dynamic seniors interested in living a healthy lifestyle the chance to enjoy activities and social interaction with like-minded individuals. Participants must be at least 50 years old. The current membership includes seniors ranging in age from 50 to 93.
Senior Circle Advisor Marsha Chisum says that the program’s 600 members are committed to staying active and informed. “We have accomplished this goal in the past, and it will be a major priority in the future,” she said.
The program, began in 1994 by the marketing department of Claremore Regional Hospital, has expanded and improved over the past 14 years. The hospital’s new owner, Community Health Systems, recently changed the name from Senior Advantage to Senior Circle. The name change, however, has not altered the program’s positive, healthy objective.
Numerous opportunities are offered to seniors, including exercise sessions, getaways, health and wellness meetings, bridge clubs, walking groups and much more. The annual fee is $15 for individuals and $27 for couples.
A membership to Senior Circle includes a free exercise program available for members each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with four classes each day. Classes are tailored for different physical levels and can include anything from cardiovascular training to chair exercises. These coed exercise classes are not intimidating and include warm-up and cool-down periods. The workouts are fun, and the upbeat music offers motivation to participants. Heart rate and blood pressure are taken for each individual before and after the session, so that the seniors can record their progress and observe the benefits derived from physical activity.
Senior Circle also offers a walking club for individuals to track their accumulative miles.
A geriatric masseuse is accessible to members the first and second Wednesday and last Friday of each month. Appointments are scheduled in advance and cost only $25 for half an hour.
Other popular components of Senior Circle include a “Lunch & Learn” program held monthly at Saint Cecilia Catholic Church. Members gather for lunch, a guest speaker, and a question and answer session. A recent meeting featured a gastroenterologist who presented a speech entitled “That Gut Feeling.” The June 24 lecture will be presented by Dr. Van Woo, director of radiation oncology at Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center.
Senior Circle provides many opportunities for day trips and an occasional overnighter. Groups have attended the Performing Arts Center in Tulsa, area museums, and in-state and out-of-state casinos. Casino visits have included trips to Tunica, Topeka and Norman. Commercial buses are chartered for most traveling, with a modest fee charged per person.
A duplicate bridge club is another activity sponsored by the group. The club meets twice each month at the Claremore Library.
The Senior Circle headquarters at Claremore Regional Hospital is a great resource center for its members. Here they can receive referrals for physicians and other senior services. They can also enjoy the benefits of local and national merchant discounts and utilize fax, copying and notary services.
Senior Circle members have a lot of fun, stay active and are well-informed. If you’re interested in being a part of this great program, call (918) 341-9378.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.