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Program prevents loneliness, promotes independence for senior citizens

Club CarePartners in Asheville aims to keep seniors active and engaged. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) - Loneliness is a big problem for people as they age. Add in mobility or memory issues, and isolation can quickly set in.

Club CarePartners in Asheville aims to keep seniors active and engaged.

"Oh, I look forward to it three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday," participant Bob Rhudy said.

"They engage one another with their life stories," explained program coordinator Denise Southerland. "There is a lot of laughter among the members."

Club CarePartners is a new social network developed out of necessity. Some participants have lost a spouse. Others have relocated to the mountains to live with family, but are determined to remain active.

"Everybody has a story to tell," Rhudy said. "Some are quite funny, too, and some are quite modest."

"I think within isolation for anyone of any age, there is the ability for deterioration for emotional well-being, physical well-being," Southerland said.

On this day, some participants exercise, while others quilt for a community service project.

"It's allowing them to remain independent," Southerland continued. "It's allowing them to age in place and remain in the home."

Club CarePartners costs $40 per session, with a $20 initial enrollment fee.

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