Local center aims to keep aging seniors active, healthy and happy

BENTON COUNTY, Miss. — Aging in good health is a blessing. Many seniors in our communities are alert and mobile but they are bored.  That's where the Benton County Commission on Aging steps in.

On any given day, seniors gather to start the day with devotion, prayer and scriptures, but afterwards these 70 and 80 something year olds get busy.

"We don't call them old up here. We don't call them seniors. We call them teenagers because they're so young. We have some 85, 96, 88-year-olds, but they don't act their age trust me," said Latoya Thompson.

There's a routine but no rules for these active adults. They're encouraged to stay fit by utilizing the workout equipment or by taking part in group exercises.

"Everybody here is fully functional. You have some that barely need any assistance at all."

The clients at the center are lively and energetic. Most of them like Ms. Charlie Perry just want to get out and socialize.

"I heard about this place and I started to come and boy it's just the highlight of my day."

There are arts and crafts, and of course a place to relax and watch TV. The idea is to make sure these seniors are not alone day in and day out.

"We had some that would not leave their homes for anything. They were so accustomed to staring at those four walls. That's all they knew."

That's not the case now. Most of the clients come five days a week.

"I come up here. I don't want to miss a day now because I didn't know it was going to be like this," said Mr. George Hampton.

"They just come here and have fun. They let loose."