Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Linda Howard
Resource Specialist, Seeley-Swan Resource Center 

Prevent loneliness from wrecking your retirement

A Note from Linda


Photo provided

Linda Howard - Resource Specialist, Seeley-Swan Resource Center, 406-541-7688

Dear friends,

Retiring in Seeley-Swan Valley? What does that look like? We know it is an extraordinarily beautiful landscape. We absolutely love it here for many reasons: fishing, hunting, hiking, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, wild animals, horses and dogs free to run, no traffic jams ... the list goes on and on.

On the flip side, retirement here in Seeley-Swan can be particularly challenging as we age-in-place. Some of my friends have recently lost a spouse and they are now alone. Some friends are virtually isolated daily being a caregiver to a parent or partner. Some don't as easily get out to organizations that once sustained and enriched their personal lives in clubs or at work. Some are new residents who have not yet established ties to this area.

A study released by Cigna in May 2018 found that nearly half of Americans report feeling lonely sometimes or always, which is epidemic. Bottom line, retirement can be lonely-and loneliness significantly impacts health. Loneliness is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day!

So what can we do about loneliness wrecking our retirement? Join us for lunch at the Seeley Lake Senior Center and Swan Valley Senior Services!

At the Seeley Lake Senior Center a delicious home cooked lunch is served Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. This includes a salad bar, fresh soup, main course followed up with dessert. Every Friday is the best clam chowder I've ever had, it is loaded with clams and potatoes.

Besides a fabulous lunch there are many fun activities: Bingo, Pinochle, Bridge and puzzles. Events to attend and volunteer at include: St. Patrick's Day Dinner, Hunter's Breakfast, Halloween Costume Contest, Easter Bonnet Contest and Christmas Party.

"I love visiting with seniors and cooking for them. Each day I'm blessed to be here. It's not like work at all," said head cook Valerie Miller.

The Swan Valley Senior Services lunch is served every Monday and Thursday at the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Condon at 1 p.m. They serve homemade daily - tasty, delicious lunches that include salad, a main course, and dessert. I especially love their taco salad and spaghetti/meatball lunches-the garlic toast is the best EVER!!!

The Swan Valley seniors experience a lot of fun and heartfelt companionship at their monthly birthday celebrations, each third Thursday of the month. They also host a Christmas celebration lunch with handmade ornaments and specialty desserts given as gifts to all in attendance. The menu and how to reserve your seat are printed on page 14 in the Pathfinder every week.

These lunches in Condon and Seeley Lake are open to everyone in the public. They are a great lunch deal and offer friendship and meaningful connection within our communities.

"Seniors is: Lasting friendships, holiday parties & bingo, wonderful meals, meeting new people," said Rosemary Fogg.

"I enjoy the company during meals and love playing BINGO and other activities," said Mary Stewart.

"My husband and I are newcomers to the senior center and are enjoying good meals and meeting new friends. What a special place in our community," said Carole Rice.

Come join us! We will not wreck our retirements due to loneliness!

The very best of health and happy spring,



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