Seniors’ Group Stay Young at Heart and Build Community

Seniors bake Valentine's Day treats in Moncton NB Salvation Army community kitchen
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In Moncton, N.B., a spirited group of men and women meet to go on outings, laugh, and share stories. They are participating in a program called Keenagers, a monthly gathering at The Salvation Army 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, mobility issues and transportation challenges further isolate seniors from actively seeking or participating in community activities.

“Sometimes, for the simple reason of not being aware of resources or activities available to them, seniors may not have anyone to connect with,” says Natasha Burkett, Director of Community and Family Services.

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.

In February, 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 such as this foster a sense of community and fellowship and helps fulfill the social and spiritual needs for the young at heart. “We aim to connect with and engage our seniors in healthy living, social inclusion and, of course, just for fun,” says Burkett.

By Sabina Pollayparambil