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Learn About the ‘On My Own’ Program at the Chelsea Senior Center

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Guest Speaker Suzanne Murray and Charlotte Wyche at a recent “On My Own” program at the Chelsea Senior Center.

By Lisa Carolin

There are many senior citizens who live on their own, and for some it’s not a choice.

The Chelsea Senior Center added a monthly program last October called On My Own, which features monthly speakers about topics that are relevant to many people, and targeted at those who are living on their own.

On Feb. 23, the topic will be “Prepping for Tax Time”. Previous topics have included financial challenges, staying upbeat for the holidays, and most recently, a cooking session titled “What’s in the Fridge: Cooking for One.”

Senior Center Board Member Charlotte Wyche and I coordinate On My Own with the support of Senior Center Executive Director Bill O’Reilly and Assistant Director Jennifer Smith.

All agree on the importance of connections.

“There are an awful lot of us at the Chelsea Senior Center that are on our own,” said Wyche, who was widowed six years ago. “We need to change the language from ‘alone’ to ‘on my own’.”

The On My Own programs are listed in the senior center newsletters with write ups including:

“Join us each month for this new program to explore strategies, resources, and support systems to help cope when you are on your own. Questions and challenges can overwhelm anyone, when they move into a different living situation. Learning to live alone isn’t easy.”

The idea is to incorporate an upbeat approach.

“We want to look at being on your own in a positive way,” said Wyche. “That’s why I’m one of the presenters. I’ve been on my own for six years and there’s a lot I can share. So can others.”

Those who attend the On My Own programs are encouraged to contribute ideas for future subjects and speakers.

“Living alone presents some unique challenges and opportunities,” said Smith. “Initially, we focused the On Your Own topics on the unexpected scenarios and barriers – how to pay the bills, shop and cook for one, start the snowblower, access passwords – that older adults have to deal with when they find themselves ‘suddenly’ on their own. We quickly realized that no matter why someone lives on their own, the information we are sharing is applicable.”

Thursday, Feb. 23, 12:45-2 p.m.

Not had to think about doing tax preparation in a while? Join us for an overview of how to prepare to have your return processed. We’ll let you know what documents you need to gather, and when you should have received certain documents either by mail or email. This is a discussion and information-sharing session. No tax advice will be given. Questions related to your specific tax situation cannot be answered here. To register call or email CSC with your name and telephone number.

Photo By Lisa Carolin. Some of the participants at the “On My Own” Program at the Chelsea Senior Center.
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