You At Your Best

June 2017 • Mental Health

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10 | YOU AT YOUR BEST | NWADG.COM/YOUATYOURBEST JUNE - MENTAL HEALTH | SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2017 Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center Promotes Mental Health Support for Seniors According to the World Health Or- ganization, by the year 2050, the number of senior citizens in the world will have doubled in size – increasing from 900 mil- lion to 2 billion people over the age of 60. As it stands today, more than 20 percent of senior citizens live with a mental or neu- rological disorder, the most common of which are dementia and depression. With the increase in the senior population, the number of those affected by mental disor- ders will experience an increase as well. While dementia related disorders, such as Alzheimer's, are classifi ed as neurological disorders and not mental illnesses, they often lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and agitation. It is common for senior citizens to feel isolat- ed, lonely, experience a loss of their abil- ity to live independently, or suffer from chronic pain, all of which can be a catalyst in developing mental health issues. Mental health in our elderly pop- ulation can be improved in several ways including maintaining an active lifestyle, if possible, and being provided with so- cial support and interaction. Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center suc- cessfully delivers on both of those aspects. Located at 945 S. College, the center is conveniently situated near historic down- town Fayetteville and offers an array of activities to engage the senior citizens of the community. "Here at the center, we have a won- derful exercise program," stated Center Director Cayla Wilson. "We have our drumming program, which is evidence based to help with coordination, dementia, and depression. It's a really wonderful ex- ercise to make you feel really less stressed and very happy." The center also has a billiards room where seniors can play a game of pool. "They love to play pool," noted Wilson. "It is great for mental health because of the hand-eye coordination involved and it really helps stimulate the brain." Social interaction also plays a large role in the mental health of senior citizens and the center offers many opportunities for the older community to engage with one another. "We have a lot of seniors who are widowed, or they don't have any family here in the area, so they come to the senior center and actually rebuild their family here," stated Wilson. "We have folks that come here daily for a meal and socialization." Meals on Wheels is a program the center offers that also promotes social interaction, primarily with those senior citizens who are homebound. Wilson ex- plained, "Our Meals on Wheels program is wonderful for homebound seniors be- cause there is a lot of depression and there are some mental issues that go along with being homebound. With the program, the client gets a daily check-in and a friend- ly hello, which really boosts the spirits. We depend on volunteers to run our meal routes – we are always looking for volun- teers for this program." The 12 year-old center boasts a fi t- ness center, dining hall and kitchen, exer- cise/yoga room, art/game room, library, outdoor patio seating area, and garden. There are plenty of activities to keep any visitor engaged and having fun. "The goal of the senior center is to provide a very positive and caring atmosphere for seniors in our community," added Wilson. The Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center will periodically host spe- cial events including an upcoming dance to be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, May 29. There will be a dessert bar and admission is $10. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Fri- day. The fi tness center is one of several various activities and programs the Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center has to offer the senior community. Staying active helps promote better mental health for aging adults. Linda Miller, Joan Mitchell, Dolly Gray, and Barbara McClelland play a game of canasta. BY SARAH HANEY NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

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