Parker County Today August 2017 - Page 82

A Harvard University report indicates that there is good reason to be optimistic about our longevity. “Effectively, the period of time in which we’re in poor health is being compressed until just before the end of life,” stated David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University. “So where we used to see people who are very, very sick for the final six or seven years of their life, that’s now far less common. People are living to older ages and we are adding healthy years, not debilitated ones.”  Today, senior citizens are doing more and going places. They’re living longer than previous generations, they’re active and are expected to still live lives filled with fun and glamour well into their 90s.  To help fill their days, a good many Parker County seniors have turned to joining social clubs, organizations and volunteering. In Weatherford, THE organization to join is the Weatherford Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle.  Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in November, the Senior Circle is a 1,100-member group composed of Parker County residents over the age of 50. While most of their members have moved to the area to be closer to their family, some have lost a spouse and are look- ing for new friends to spend time with. Whatever the circumstance, the Senior Circle breathes life into our greatest generation. Members are able to build camarade- rie with each other by attending activities like day trips, playing cards, and yoga to keep the member’s active. Presentations focusing on subjects such as heart health or skin cancer shows them how to stay healthy as they age.  It gives widows like Jan Jacquot, age 81, the chance to be included in the fun, rather than feeling alone or left out. Being a longtime widow, Jarquot can testify to the importance of a senior feeling included.  “Senior Circle gives everyone an opportunity to participate and enjoy life. I have been a widow for many years, and it’s hard to get out there after losing a spouse,” Jarquot said.  Members also contribute to the community in numer- ous ways, with one major contribution being volunteer work. Many members of the Senior Circle participate in the hospital’s volunteer program. They count it as an honor to be able to show compassion for those who are ill, helping people in the community get through what can be one of their worst times. The volunteer program Continued on page 84 Senior Circle members with their PCT Gift Certificates 80