Recreation group  for seniors plans  anniversary party

ContributedDave Turan, standing at left, of the Mike Kudish Natural History Preserve, leads a watercolor workshop in this undated photo at Our Place, a free weekly enrichment and activity program for seniors hosted by St. James’ Church of Lake Delaware in Bovina.

Our Place, the free weekly enrichment and activity program for seniors hosted by St. James’ Church of Lake Delaware in Bovina, will celebrate the anniversary of its relaunch with a party Wednesday, May 22, from noon to 3 p.m.

The party will include a homemade chili lunch with all the fixings, comedy by Those Two & Her, featuring Hobo Hank and Chee Chee the Clown, and music by Laurie McIntosh, who took over as program facilitator one year ago.

“We try to host programs that are very creative and enriching — something beyond bingo,” McIntosh said. 

Each week features a different activity led by volunteers and community members, McIntosh said. Previous programs included watercolor painting workshops, local history presentations, travel logs, storytelling sessions and cooking classes.

A number of state and local agencies, including the Delaware County Office for the Aging and the Department of Environmental Conservation, also regularly host sessions, McIntosh said. Next week the group will host a presentation by the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York.

“I originally thought this would never get off the off the ground, but we’ve developed a really lovely community here,” McIntosh said.

The weekly sessions are attended by a core group of eight to 10 people, sometimes more for special events, she said. 

The program is administered by St. James’ Church of Lake Delaware and open to Delaware County residents age 60 and older who are able to eat, move and attend to their bathroom needs independently, according to the Rev. James Krueger, parish priest.

“It’s no secret that Delaware County is an aging county,” Krueger said. “The idea is to serve people aging in the home. So many people are at risk of isolation in such a rural area.” 

Delaware County residents age 65 and older comprise nearly a quarter of the county’s population, according to 2017 data from the American Communities Survey. Because of the distance between services, shopping centers and neighbors, Delaware County residents — especially the aged — are prone to social isolation, poor nutrition and a lack of adequate health supervision, Krueger said.

“It’s great to get people out of the house and doing something,” McIntosh said.

For more information about Our Place, visit saintjamesld.org/our-ministries.

To volunteer to host a program or activity, contact Laurie McIntosh at 607-746-7739 or storylaurie@gmail.com

Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at seames@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.