Senior Circle Centers On Health, Education And Adds Some Fun



Ilona and Jim Swenson chat over the just-activated punch fountain at the 2008 Senior Circle picnic and 9th anniversary celebration of the outreach program, sponsored by the Payson Regional Medical Center.

The Payson Regional Chapter of the Senior Circle has been serving residents of the Rim Country for nine years. The outreach program of the Payson Regional Medical Center celebrated the anniversary with a picnic at Rumsey Park June 21.

There was live music and lots of food, fun and participation.

The Senior Circle Association was established in the Payson community as a nonprofit, tax-paying membership organization for adults age 50 and older in April 1999. Membership provides access to a generous menu of national and local discounts, benefits, events and services.

The core of the program is a mission to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for senior adults by providing programs that encourage continued learning, wellness, health and volunteering, coupled with a host of social activities.


Norma Martinez looks on at the hive of activity as members of the Payson Senior Circle prepare for their annual picnic and the celebration of the organization's 9th anniversary.

The organization has grown to more than 1,500 members locally.

"We'll be looking for that 2,000th member by year's end," said Kathy Coombes, Senior Circle advisor.

For $15 a year, members get national benefits such as prescription, vision, travel, home emergency response and other discounts. Sign up before July 1, 2008 and you can take part in the next open enrollment period at the Tonto Apache Recreation Center, giving you access to the tribe's fitness facility and pool for $48 for a three-month period

The Senior Circle program is volunteer- based and it could not exist without its Senior Circle Ambassadors. Payson Senior Circle currently boasts more than 50 active volunteers. Volunteer opportunities are endless, from helping with the newsletter, working at the reception desk and gift shop to participation in parades or helping organize various classes and events. Every other month, the Senior Circle gives special recognition to one of its outstanding volunteers.

The Senior Circle and the American Cancer Society have joined together to offer services in Payson. The Senior Circle now has available a large selection of free quality wigs, scarves, hats and turbans provided by the American Cancer Society. These free items are available in the Senior Circle medical supply closet. Women in the community undergoing cancer treat may be interested in the ACS Look Good, Feel Better program. The Senior Circle also has two vendors offering services for cancer patients: Gee Wigz -- Terri Angichiodo specializes in cranial hair prosthesis, turban, hats, mastectomy fittings, breast prosthesis, jewelry and more; Fittings by Nickie L.L.C. -- specializes in lymph edema certified custom fittings and more.

The Senior Circle is teaming up with the Arthritis Foundation to present the Arthritis Foundation Live and Learn program this summer.


There was lots to see and do at the Senior Circle picnic June 21. Among the participants was June Sonksen.

There will be an educational expo presented by the Arthritis Foundation and Senior Circle at the Mazatzal Casino Event Center July 12 to introduce a new program for arthritis treatment and support to Rim Country residents. Both aquatic and land-based exercises will be available. Additionally the program will have guest speakers and literature regarding all phases of arthritis. For further information, call Kathy Coombes at (928) 472-9290.

The Senior Circle is a satellite office for the Consumer Education / Consumer Protection office of the Attorney General's Office. The Arizona Attorney General's Community Services Program provides educational seminars that focus on consumer fraud, protection of civil and victims' rights. The office provides a community-based venue that makes it easier for residents to access information on consumer fraud, civil and victims' rights and other topics. Volunteers staff satellite offices, make educational presentations for community groups, distribute educational materials at community events and assist individuals with filing complaints or referrals for assistance.

Regular programs offered by the Senior Circle include: presentations by area doctors and others in the health care industry; a medical loan closet with walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, shower chairs and other medical items, all available at no charge; passive exercise classes; tai chi classes; line dancing; yoga; basic ballroom and Latin dancing classes; cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid classes; crafts; computers; cribbage and Bunco games.

In addition to the special arthritis program planned for July 12, the Senior Circle has a regular arthritis and fibromyalgia support group and a diabetes support group.


Ilona Swenson, left, takes tickets for the 50/50 raffle and Richard Holt, right, is more than willing to part with his money for a chance to win.

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