City of Monroe hosts Senior Citizen’s Funfest at Johnson Community Center

City of Monroe hosts Senior Citizen's Funfest at Johnson Community Center
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:19 PM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 5:20 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The National Council on Aging has listed isolation and loneliness as having a detrimental impact on senior citizens’ health. That’s why the city of Monroe held a Senior Citizen’s Funfest Thursday morning.

The city hosted the event at Henrietta Johnson Community Center from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. for senior citizens to encourage seniors to gather and get involved in the community. Activities included everything from simple chair aerobics to playing games to sharing a bite to eat.

Brenda Wade, who’s the center supervisor at Benoit Community Center, says events like the Funfest helps senior citizens feel significant in their communities.

“But we still need opportunities for our seniors as well,” says Wade. “And I learned that there were some opportunities that were missing for seniors; so, therefore, we moved forward to give them something to do.”

The Administration for Community Living recorded that 27% of senior citizens in America lived alone in 2020. Wade says interactive opportunities for senior citizens in the community help improve their overall social-wellbeing.

“On a social level, it’s good for any person because just to be isolated - and a lot of people don’t have anybody to talk to,” says Wade. “And they’ve come and said that the coffee and conversation opportunity - that has given them a chance to really feel like they’re needed; that they’re wanted because they don’t have a chance to talk to people.”

Although the city organized the Funfest for senior citizens, community members below the age of 65 also participated. Alison McCarty, who’s the community ventures director with Arco of Monroe, says it’s important to have men and women, specifically with developmental disabilities, be community-oriented and active just like anyone else.

“We want the community to be as comfortable and normalized as we can with men and women that might be just a little bit different than them, so it was important for us just to come and hang out with people that are our own age and people who might be our neighbors,” McCarty.

The city is planning for the next Funfest for senior citizens, and they’re currently determining the location and date.