The container we are given to live this life is an imperfect item. Face
it; our bodies break, leak and wear out. If it were a car, we would sell it.
Unfortunately we are a package deal — our soul and our body. Otherwise,
I would look like Pamela Anderson Lee and have her personality. Well, I
think I would keep mine. I can daydream all I like, but the reality is that the
older I get the more likely my plumbing will fail in one way or another.
We are lucky that when the poop hits the fan — or should I say
when the boobs hit the ground — we have access to a top-notch facility right
in our own backyard. I am talking about the Sno-Valley Senior Center. I
volunteer monthly and it is one of the best ways to spend my time.
The center, which is located in Carnation, serves Duvall,
Carnation and Fall City. It exists to serve the needs of all of us when time takes
its toll or when you just want some company. It has programs that improve
our quality of life. One great program is the Lifetime Fitness Program led
by Paulette Quiroga-Jacklin. The class combines weight training,
stretching and aerobics through a program specifically designed to improve
and maintain the “container” of today’s active seniors. But the body isn’t
the whole story.
Our mind and well-being can have as big, if not a bigger, effect on
our happiness than our body. The Senior Center provides assistance for our
intellect, too. There are support groups to help people deal with the
ravages of biology. No one is an expert on common diseases like diabetes
until it hits home. The Senior Center can provide information for managing
the disease so that you can cope with the disease.
You also need to manage your financial resources to effectively
manage your quality of life. The center has financial information so that
seniors can get first-class information on estate planning, Medicare and
health insurance questions, landlord-tenant issues and end-of-life decisions
including durable powers of attorney and guardianship. This is a safe
environment and you can be sure that the information is what is best for
your unique situation and not a sales pitch for life insurance. Once the
mind, body and bank are straightened out, it is time to eat.
Everyone knows a senior who is wasting away to nothing. We all
have a memory of our shrinking grandmas and grandpas. I doubt I would cook
at all if it weren’t for my family begging for food like baby birds in a
nest. Cooking for one person almost seems wasteful and eating at a table alone
is no treat. The hot lunch program serves a hot nutritious lunch and often
free entertainment for the unbelievably low price of $2.50 for seniors over 60.
Friends under 60 can join you for only $4.65. Plus you have company to
share the meal with. A simple pleasure for all of us.
Homebound? You can apply for the Meals on Wheels program,
which delivers prepared meals once a week. Even little Fluffy can qualify for
free pet food sponsored by the Humane Society of Bellevue. Or there is
free or low cost transportation to the center, pharmacy, grocery store or
other local destinations.
Probably the most meaningful service in my mind is the Adult
Day Health (ADH) Program headed by Perry EauClair. The program
provides care for severely disabled seniors. One of the hardest jobs in the world
is caring 24 hours a day, seven days a week for someone you love who
can no longer care for themselves. The ADH program provides a safe
environment for these, our most fragile neighbors, so that the caregivers
can have a break.
If you can get out and about how about a day trip? The center plans
day trips that cost next to nothing. The seniors toured Boeing’s jumbo jet
facility in Everett and in July there is a trip to the Muckleshoot Casino.
Transportation is provided and most trips cost around $5. Plus you get the
pleasure of visiting with friends instead of the headaches of dealing with local
traffic. These are just some of the programs and services offered by the
How do they do it? All of this is made possible by a dedicated staff
and an army of volunteers. If you want a chance to see what kind of place
the Senior Center is, then join us for the spaghetti dinner on July 3 designed
to help all the Carnation Fourth of July runners load up on carbs for the
big race the next day. Cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children. Even better is
their famous strawberry shortcake feed held during the Fourth of July festival. It
is definitely worth the one-block walk down Stephens Street for the
best strawberry shortcake ever for only $3.
The Sno-Valley Senior Center is located at 4310 Stephens St. in
Carnation. If you have questions about any of the programs they offer,
call (425) 333-4152. Even better, send them a check. They are a
501(c)(3) (that is a fancy way of saying non-profit) organization. They are
also looking for donations of a color printer, a 35 mm camera with flash,
a small table-top fridge and most important to me, a copy machine with
sorting capability. Even $10 can go a long way to helping our community
help our neighbors.
Small towns are famous for taking care of our own so take care of
the Senior Center by volunteering your time and money.
Kate Russell lives between
Carnation and Duvall. You can reach her at Katemo1@msn.com.