Breland: Seniors out to lunch relieves boredom

Published 10:44 am Friday, August 26, 2022

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Being at home a great deal can cause some retired folks to become bored and maybe a bit lazy. Staying home was started with the COVID-19 virus dangers and it seems the best way to keep safe.

Visiting others may be a thing to do, but this has about become a lost art. It is bad manners to visit without calling, except maybe close relatives. With all the cell phones, there are very few good telephone numbers in the phone book anymore, so calling may make it hard to follow through.

So we sit home, have few visitors and gripe about not having anything to do but stay home. So what do we do?

There is a solution that may work for just about anybody over 60, especially those needing a good place to go and get out of the house!

My brother called one evening and said he wanted me to go with him somewhere the next morning. For the first time as a senior citizen, I went to a Washington Parish Council on Aging Meal Site. I had been there before to interview people while I was still working, but this time I was going as an honest to goodness real senior citizen.

How shall I put this — I had the best time! Some of my neighbors were there I would not see otherwise. I enjoyed just chatting with them and catching upon old news. There was coffee to be had at any time.

Beginning at 9:30, we played Bingo until time for lunch, which was at 11. A tasty nutritious lunch for which I gave a donation. By noon I was back home ready to get my afternoon nap.

On the next day, some played dominoes. Not especially my best game, but some love it. Interesting things to do while waiting for lunch. Dominoes and Bingo were alternated.

Now about lunch. For some older folks, cooking is no longer the greatest fun in the world — especially every day for one or two people — and groceries are expensive! The site lunches are varied and prepared for all the nutrition seniors need. Some may not like what is to be served the next day, so can opt out when they please. Once a month a sheet listing the meals is given to those participating.

There is no charge for anything, including lunches. For donations, some give a dollar, others who can give more. It is dropped in a small secure box when signing in, so no one knows how much is given by anyone. There is a standing thermometer where one passes their wrist, to protect everyone.

Some come every day, some occasionally. Some early, others only for lunch. Income has nothing to do with it. Lots of money or no money — it is for all seniors.

There are four parish sites: Bogalusa, Franklinton, Pine and Angie. If interested, you can call the Council on Aging weekdays at 985-732-6869 for more info. If you know where to go in your area, stop by one morning and register, indicating when you want to start.

The director at each place will determine how many will attend, so the correct amount of food can be ordered for the next day. There are other services available through the Council on Aging and many seniors in Washington Parish can benefit.

At first I was a little lazy about getting up and dressed to get out early, as I usually spent time sitting in my chair and sipping coffee much of the morning. The activity of getting dressed and going out has me moving about so much better. It may also be right for you!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at