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After her husband died eight years ago, Flora was feeling lonely and depressed.

“I had to do something,” she says. “So I went to the doctor, and he said, ‘Well, you gotta help yourself. Find a place to go. Join some senior club.’”

With help from her sons, daughters, and grandchildren, Flora started coming to the Heartland Family Service Generations Center, which provides recreational, social, and nutritional programming for seniors 55 and over.

“It’s fabulous,” Flora says. “I was so impressed. It’s beautiful. I just love this place.”

One most days, Flora enjoys playing cards with some of the other regulars at the Generations Center – Shirley, Alice, Connie, Mary, Marshall, and Ralph – who have now become her friends.

She also partakes of the low-cost lunch and transportation pick-up and drop-off.

“I don’t drive,” Flora says. “And if I stay at home, I get too down-hearted. It’s quiet just by myself. I have no one to talk to. Over here I do.”

In addition to playing cards, daily programming also includes watching TV, reading, Internet-accessible computers, and “shopping” off the free clothing donation rack. The seniors also play bingo twice a week and enjoy monthly musical entertainment by the Merrymakers, arts and crafts with WhyArts?, and themed parties geared toward a season or holiday.

“We’re like a bunch of sisters here and brothers,” Flora says. “We’re just like a family here, and I like that. I like family. I think it makes me live a little longer, too, to be together.”

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