Community Connection: Importance of community as we age
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Mission: The mission of the Routt County Council on Aging is to determine the needs of the seniors in Routt County and to make every effort to meet those needs with appropriate action.
Human beings are social creatures. Our connection to others enables us to survive and thrive. Yet, in this day and age, many of us have limited face-to-face connections. Research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Social isolation and loneliness are also related to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cognitive decline and depression.
Many older Americans struggle with social isolation. One in four older adults lives alone, according to the Meals on Wheels Association of America, and many of our local seniors live in the more rural areas of Routt County. The senior population in the U.S. is rapidly increasing, with more than 12,000 people turning 60 daily.
The Routt County Council on Aging provides many opportunities for community connections. We provide older adults a purpose, passion, laughter, support, resources and encouragement. We provide our volunteers with an opportunity to connect to the people who established our community and hear the stories and history they love to share.
Many of our Meals on Wheels volunteers have been delivering for over 10 years and continue to do so because of the connections they have formed. For some of these clients, our meal delivery driver may be the only friendly face they see in a day.
In addition to the meals we deliver, we offer lunch in Hayden, Oak Creek and Steamboat Springs. Our dining rooms bring together people in a friendly, warm and welcoming atmosphere and facilitate connections. I recently was told by a client, “Weekends are hard for me. I always look forward to Mondays, so I can come back here.”
We are currently planning more ways to connect with and meet the needs of our growing senior population. We are looking forward to the month of March and the national March for Meals campaign to raise awareness of senior hunger and isolation.
What: Senior March
When: 11:30 a.m. March 12
Where: Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave.
What: Routt County Council on Aging
When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 16
Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1597 Lincoln Ave.
Join our Senior March at the Routt County Courthouse at 11:30 a.m. March 12. You are also welcome to our open house for a free lunch and to learn more about our programs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 16 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Learn more about our programs and activities at rccoaging.org. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-879-0633.
April Sigman is the executive director of Routt County Council on Aging and has served with the organization in various positions since 2014.
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