Most senior centers offer outings that allow older adults to get out of the house without any of the hassle.
"All they have to worry about is having fun," said Michelle Burke, who coordinates trips for the Edmonds Senior Center.
Burke schedules outings to events such as museum exhibits, concerts and shopping trips for the center's more than 1,300 members and others in the community.
"It's a great way for seniors to be social, to make new friends and to enjoy the area that has so much to offer," Burke said. "There's such a great art and music scene."
The social and physical activity involved in center-sponsored outings can improve health, both physically and emotionally.
Dr. James Lee, who practices internal medicine with an emphasis on care for older adults at the Everett Clinic, said isolation is one of the most common concerns for seniors.
"Psychologically, a sense of isolation can lead to depression, which often can cause decline in the health status," he said. "Many studies have shown that socialization decreases depression and increases quality of life for seniors. In addition, moderate physical activity helps our older adults in maintaining their muscle strength and balance."
Most trips are offered to both members and nonmembers. The cost for nonmembers is usually just $5 more than it is for members.
Most centers offer a variety of trips each month, from concerts to casinos to lunches with seniors in different cities.
We've picked out a few. Note: Seniors should meet at the center unless otherwise noted and bring money for food and refreshments.
Nov. 5: King Tut at the Pacific Science Center, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m with the Stillaguamish Senior Center; cost is $43.50. The King Tut exhibit is on display in North America for the last time and features artifacts from the boy pharoah's tomb, including the gold sandals that covered his feet when his remains were discovered in 1922. Requires a lot of walking. Call 360-653-4551 to register.
Nov. 10: Shaw Island's Historic Tharold Homestead Tour, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. with the Northshore Senior Center Bothell. Seniors will take a trip across the sound on the Anacortes Ferry to Shaw Island for a tour of the Tharold Homestead's Nordic-style architecture. The homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and protected by the San Juan County's Historic Preservation Easement. The outing requires a moderate amount of walking on level ground. For details, call the "Bookie Office" at 425-487-2441.
Dec. 6: The Wonder of Zoolights at Point Defiance, 3 to 8:30 p.m with the Lynnwood Senior Center; meet in the center's overflow parking lot; cost is $20 to $26 including zoo admission. Point Defiance will brighten up for the holidays with more than a half-million lights. The center asks seniors to refrain from wearing perfumes or colognes on trips. A moderate amount of walking is required. Registration begins on Nov. 6. To register, call the center at 425-670-5050.
Dec. 8: Holiday Pops at Benaroya Hall, 12:30 to 6 p.m. with the Edmonds Senior Center; meet at United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers St., Edmonds; cost is $55 to $60. Conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in a collection of seasonal favorites, such as "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music," "Let it Snow" and "O Holy Night." The event requires some walking. Call the center at 425-774-5555 to register.
Jan. 26, 2013: "Fiddler on the Roof," 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. with the Camano Center; tickets are $65 to $70 and must be purchased by Dec. 20. During this all-ages trip, guests will experience the award-winning musical "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Village Theatre in Everett. The musical depicts the story of Reb Tevye, a philosophical milkman living in pre-revolutionary Russia who struggles to balance his religion, his Russian-Jewish customs and five daughters. Very little walking is required. Call 360-387-0222 to register.
TAKE A TRIP
Here's a list of some senior centers in Snohomish and Island counties that offer trips.
• Camano Center: 606 Arrowhead Road; 360-387-0222; www.camanocenter.org.
• Carl Gipson Senior Center: 3025 Lombard Ave., Everett; 425-257-8780; www.everettwa.org/seniors.
• East County Senior Center: 276 Sky River Parkway, Monroe; 360-794-6359; www.eastcountyseniorcenter.org.
• Edmonds Senior Center: 220 Railroad Ave.; 425-774-5555; www.edmondssc.org.
• Lake Stevens Senior Center: 2302 Soper Hill Road; 425-335-0345; www.lakestevensseniorcenter.com.
• Lynnwood Senior Center: 19000 44th Ave W.; 425-670-5050; www.ci.lynnwood.wa.us/seniors.
• Mountlake Terrace Senior Center: 5605 235th St. SW; 425-672-2407; www.mltseniorcenter.com.
• Northshore Senior Center: www.northshoreseniorcenter.org.
• Bothell, 10201 East Riverside Drive; 425-487-2441.
• Mill Creek, 15720 Main St.; 425-948-7170.
• Oak Harbor Senior Center: 51 SE Jerome Street; 360-279-4580; www.oakharbor.org.
• Snohomish Senior Center: 506 Fourth St.; 360-568-0934; www.snohomishcenter.org.
• South Whidbey Bayview Senior Center: 14594 Highway 525, Langley; 360-321-1600; www.islandseniorservices.org/bayview.
• Stillaguamish Senior Center: 18308 Smokey Point Blvd., Arlington; 360-653-4551; www.stillycenter.com.
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