Payson Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle is one of the fastest growing groups in town. Membership is only $15 a year and the benefits are enormous.
Senior Circle’s main focus is health education and wellness for people in the Payson community who are 50 years of age or better. Additionally, the Circle encourages a healthy, active lifestyle through exercise programs, social activities including trips, classes and volunteer activities.
Jan Parsons, Senior Circle advisor, explains that by far the most popular events at the Circle are the “Doc Talks” or as they are commonly referred to, Lunch and Learn.
“A light lunch is offered free of charge and members have the opportunity to listen to our local physicians speak about common health issues. We try to keep the programs varied and offer topics that affect most people our age,” Parsons said.
For instance, on July 11 Dr. Ivan McLaws will be speaking about foot problems — plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and talotarsal dislocation. On July 25 Dr. Troy Ford will speak about cataracts and macular degeneration. August is also going to be interesting because on Aug. 8 Dr. Toby Paulson and Dr. Sam Gillette will speak about angioplasty and stents.
Payson Regional Medical Center’s new director of patient financial services, Shelly Thompson, will speak about Managing Your Medical Bills Aug. 22.
Dr. Katharine Raymer will discuss functions of the gallbladder Sept. 12, and Sept. 26 Dr. Christopher LeSueur will speak about Lupus and autoimmune diseases.
Sandwiched in-between the Lunch and Learns is a member lunch. In addition to a healthy luncheon, members have an opportunity to visit and get to know one another, enjoy a 50/50 drawing and play a couple of games of bingo. The member lunch in July will include an ice cream social. Member lunches are $4.
Lunch and Learns and member lunches begin at 11:30 a.m. and last about an hour.
Other health related programs offered are the Diabetes Support, facilitated by John Hancock, RN and diabetic educator; a spousal grief support group for adults who have lost a spouse and the Lost Loves group for adults who have lost a loved one through suicide — Jeanine Affelt, LSBW, MED, conducts both groups.
Through Senior Circle, members are offered substantial discounts to the Tonto Apache Gym. Dues are $52 per quarter (3 months). Open enrollment through Senior Circle occurs in July and October.
The Senior Circle also offers Qigong, Zumba and Feeling Fit. Each program is offered twice a week.
If you like to dance or would like to learn, a ballroom dancing class and a line dancing class are also offered.
Senior Circle operates the community’s cancer closet. Wigs, scarves and turbans along with cancer related literature is available to women (and men) who are undergoing chemotherapy. The Look Good…Feel Better program, Reach to Recovery, Survivor College Scholarship program and the children’s summer camp program are among other programs that the Senior Circle coordinates in conjunction with the American Cancer Society.
This summer the Road to Recovery program is being rolled out. This program is designed to provide transportation help in Rim Country for people who need a ride to their local cancer treatment in Payson. Volunteer drivers are needed. Drivers must have a good driving record and a service-able vehicle. They must be willing to transport people with cancer to and from scheduled treatment appointments only. The volunteer driver must submit to screening and training through the American Cancer Society as ACS maintains specific standards for the responsibilities of volunteer drivers. In return, the Senior Circle will provide $10 gas cards for participating drivers. To learn more about the program, or to offer your services as a driver, please contact Jan Parsons, (928) 472-9290.
A certain segment of the Senior Circle’s membership enjoys the travel opportunities offered, Parsons said. This fall a one-day trip and one overnight trip offered through AZ Trails Travel are planned. On Aug. 9, the Circle’s travel bugs will take off to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
Then Oct. 2-5 participants will visit Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly. For information on either trip, contact Senior Circle at (928) 472-9290.
The Senior Circle is located at 215 N. Beeline Highway in Payson. The phone number is (928) 472-9290.