In Moncton, a spirited group of men and women meet to go on outings, laugh, and share stories. They are partaking in a program called Keenagers, a monthly gathering that bring together seniors, age 55 years and older, for companionship, socializing, and entertainment.
After retirement, many seniors find themselves with an empty nest, and often experience loneliness or withdrawal from the community. Financial barriers or mobility and transportation issues further isolate seniors from actively seeking or participating in community activities.
Director of Community and Family Services, Natasha Burkett says, “Sometimes, for the simple reason of not being aware of resources or activities available to them, seniors may not have anyone to connect with.”
Keenagers began eight years ago as an initiative to engage seniors in recreation and social activities. The program includes guest speakers, group outings, and skill-building. Furthermore, Keenagers also provides advocacy and support for issues affecting seniors in the community.
Last month, the Keenagers met for a Valentine’s Day sweet treat. The group rolled up their sleeves and took over the community kitchen where they baked and exchanged Valentines goodies.
Programs like this foster a sense of community and fellowship and helps fulfill the social and spiritual needs for the young at heart. Burkett says, “We aim to connect with and engage our seniors in healthy living, social inclusion and, of course, just for fun.”