A Q&A with Julie Sing
AS WE AGE, it’s important to keep our mind and body active. We interviewed Julie Sing, marketing manager/Senior Circle advisor at Lake Wales Medical Center (LWMC), about one way to do that: the Senior Circle.
Central Florida Health News (CFHN): What is the Senior Circle?
JULIE SING: Senior Circle is a local senior activity group sponsored by LWMC. Our mission is to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle by providing programs that encourage continued wellness with a variety of social activities.
CFHN: Who is eligible to join? Are there memberships for couples?
SING: Members must be at least 50 years old. We offer an annual membership of $15 for one person, or $27 for a couple.
CFHN: Why should someone over 50 join Senior Circle?
SING: Staying active is important for aging healthy. We offer programs that forge new friendships, help seniors stay active, and provide ongoing health education.
CFHN: What kind of activities do you offer? Please discuss the educational programs.
SING: Senior Circle offers a mixture of free and paid activities. Some of the free activities include weekly exercise classes, monthly movies, birthday luncheons, and Lunch & Learn programs. During Lunch & Learn programs, we bring in community doctors, hospital staff, or community organizations to speak to us about health and healthy lifestyle topics. Upcoming topics include estate planning, reducing stress, stroke education, and how to avoid falls. Activities that require payment include holiday luncheons, craft classes, and various trips.
CFHN: Where does the group meet?
SING: Most of the activities are held at LWMC; however, we do meet at local restaurants once a month to enjoy social meals together. Charter buses take members on day trips.
CFHN: What kind of healthcare discounts are available?
SING: Members of Senior Circle receive hospital perks if they are admitted to LWMC. Members receive a complimentary private room upgrade, when available, and they receive a complimentary meal ticket for their caregiver each day they are admitted to the hospital.
CFHN: What other benefits come with membership?
SING: Senior Circle offers many benefits to its members. In addition to the social and educational opportunities, members receive 10 percent off LWMC cafeteria purchases, as well as national discounts from companies such as ADT (security), National Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car, Beltone Hearing, Careington Dental, ScriptSave Prescription Drug, and VSP Vision Care.
CFHN: Tell us about the local group.
SING: The Lake Wales Senior Circle chapter has more than 1,000 members. The majority of our members live in the greater Lake Wales area; however, we have members all over the county. The group is very diverse, so we try to have a good variety of activities for everyone’s interest. Anyone 50 and older can join; most of our members are retired and over 65.
CFHN: What other social opportunities are available to members?
SING: Senior Circle offers great travel opportunities. There are usually two big trips a year with monthly day trips in between. Some of the places we have traveled are Hawaii, Ireland, Branson (Mo.), the Smoky Mountains, and Savannah (Ga.). Day trips include such itineraries as Epcot, sightseeing boat tours, and dinner theater shows.
CFHN staff report