Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Word puzzles keep seniors' minds sharp


Star photo by Stephanie Thompson

Gail Robinson and Gloria Culp enjoy socializing and the word-search puzzles at the senior center.

Monday morning while several seniors were busy strengthening their bodies with Zumba Gold, others were strengthening their minds.

In the Golden Hour Senior Center dining room about six senior citizens were busy completing the daily word search the center provides.

"It keeps my brain alive," senior Gloria Culp said. "It's just something I do when I get here. It's kind of fun."

Each puzzle has a different theme. Some are based on popular sports, the seasons or historical events. Monday's word search was birthday themed. The center puts one of these particular puzzles out once a month with the names of seniors who are having birthdays that month.

Culp is not new to the senior center.

"I used to come up here and have lunch a few days a week when I was working," Culp said.

Senior Gail Robinson who sat down next to Culp during the interview agreed with Culp.

"These are good because it keeps our minds active," Robinson said.

The puzzles may be important to Robinson, but she said socialization is the real reason she visits the center as frequently as she does. 

Robinson said the center itself is what is important to her. After Robinson's husband died four years ago, her life changed a lot. She went from being outside and active all the time to staying home.

"There was a vacancy in my life," Robinson said. "I filled it by coming here."

Culp echoed what Robinson was saying. When a woman is married, she goes camping and hunting. When their husband dies they can't do that anymore.

"It's our social life," Culp said.

"It's been a life saver for me," Robinson said.

For Culp, it has become sort of a routine. She goes to the center, gets a cup of coffee, grabs a word search sheet and sets to work. After that, she exercises at the center, has lunch and then goes back home.

"I don't know what I'd do without this place," Culp said. "My social life (was) the grocery store and the post office."

She doesn't feel this way anymore. The senior center is now her social life. 

Robinson spotted someone she hadn't seen in a long time and went to chat with him. Puzzles may help her mind, but she won't let it get in the way of visiting with an old friend.

Meanwhile, Culp continued working on her puzzle before it was time to exercise her body. For her, it was just another day at the senior center.


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