Home  >  Carol LeBeau  >  Carol's Health Journal | 01 March 2010

Social Seniors

01. March 2010

Friday night’s the time to party! And that’s certainly the case at North Coast Calvary Church (NCCC) in Carlsbad… especially for the 50-plus crowd! As I walked into the all–purpose facility at NCCC recently, there was such a din of music and laughter, I thought I was in the wrong place. Church people - certainly those over fifty - couldn’t be having that much fun. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Ray and Sharon Larson invited me to be a guest speaker at the church’s wildly popular “Life After Fifty” (LAF!) annual “Chili Fest.” The theme was western and the chili was hot! They asked me to make an inspirational speech… but trust me, I was the one who walked away inspired!

Nearly 300 fired-up seniors turned out for an evening of fun, food, music and inspiration… an event that has grown so much over the years, the enormous church hall is nearly bursting at the seams!

The Larsons started LAF! nine years ago as a way to reach out to seniors at the church through a variety of activities and events. “We do a great job of meeting the needs of young people and families,” says Ray. “But seniors need fun, social and spiritual outlets as well.”

Ray’s right! And there’s science to back him up. Having friends and outside interests can make a difference in living longer and healthier lives. Let’s face it, large extended families that used to be available for support are dwindling. The number of one-person households has increased. People often move far from their families to retire. But staying connected to family, friends and activities has never been more important.

One study reports seniors who like to eat out, go to movies and take part in other social activities live an average two-and-a-half years (quality life!) longer than people who spend most of their time alone.

So whether it’s a program like “Life After Fifty” at NCCC Church, joining a book discussion group at your local library or volunteering for your favorite charity… get out there! It’s fun AND good for your health.

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.