Five women sat around a table at The Lone Tree Hub snacking on popcorn, sipping coffee and chatting away. They talked about reading books their grandchildren had recommended during COVID, taking courses at the rec center, getting vaccines and who had the mumps or chicken pox growing up.
“We’re hangin’,” said organizer Joyce Lew, co-chair of the Living Well and Aging Committee.
The Nov. 18 meetup was part of the committee’s Third Thursday event series — just one of several activities it puts on to provide aging citizens with socialization. That along with physical activity and a healthy diet are three of the most important things for seniors, Lew said.
The Living Well and Aging Ad Hoc Committee has served seniors in the community since 2012. Its mission listed on the cityoflonetree.com site is to identify and advocate for issues in the aging community, support educational opportunities for them and offer social activities.
As the name suggests, the Third Thursday event happens every third Thursday of the month. The program relaunched in June after taking a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. People from throughout the area are welcome to come — it’s not exclusive to Lone Tree residents — and the agenda is simple. Attendees can play games, talk and get face-to-face interaction.
Julie Simmons learned about Third Thursdays through the South Suburban Parks and Recreation catalog and says the events are fun. The events are casual and flexible in what activities people do when there, she said.
For Louise Barnard, the events are a way to get out of the house. She no longer drives, so her daughter drops her off. During COVID, she stopped attending activities at the recreation center, but she’s able to keep up with Third Thursday.
“It’s just a place for me to socialize,” she said.
Barnard has also enjoyed other Living Well and Aging events. The committee traditionally offers luncheons twice a month at the golf club and potlucks twice a year. Both typically draw 30 to 40 people and feature live entertainment or speakers, Lew said.
Between two and 10 people have attended Third Thursdays. Amid lower turnout, the committee isn’t sure how long the event will keep going, she said, but the committee is grateful to be back to holding in-person events.
“We try to fill the need for socialization,” she said.