For seniors looking to stay healthy and sociable as they age, few clubs are more practical than Porter Regional Hospital’s HealthPorte program. Every month, it features breakfast presentations designed to help people 50 and older stay healthy, active, and informed – but having fun while doing so is just as important.
“It’s a way for our seniors to come together, have camaraderie, and get some new information,” said Jennifer Spitz, Regional Community Relations Coordinator for Porter Health Care System. “We found that people who were members even two years ago are still learning new things. Plus, they really enjoy getting together, they form bonds and friendships.”
Every year, HealthPorte members come together for an Annual Winter Potluck Party. Homemade dishes and desserts pile high, and lectures and presentations are prepared for an afternoon of food, fun, and games. It also gives Porter Regional Hospital the chance to gather feedback from the members on what they can improve on moving into the new year.
“It’s a chance to get together and relax; there was no presentation today,” Spitz said. “Our members will also be filling out a form that’ll tell us new topics that they want to hear about. It’s always good for them to come to us and say ‘hey, we’re hearing about this, what do we need to know about it,’ because we love to clarify things like that for them.”
Linda Lea started attending HealthPorte meetings about five years ago. She found it to be such a valuable resource that she decided to start volunteering for the program and now helps keep the events running.
“It was an opportunity to find out more about our health and community when we retired,” Lea said. “These meetings are really beneficial. When a staff member or doctor speaks, you get to learn all about what the hospital does and all things available to you. It’s been really good, and it’s a chance to meet new people!”
Joleen Wilson, like Lea, started attending HealthPorte meetings years ago. She helps recruit new members and spreads word about how much the meetings have helped her out.
“It’s very informative, and it covers such a variety of topics; It’s not like they stick to one thing all the time,” Wilson said. “You learn a lot. It’s also really nice to have this potluck since it gives us a chance to talk to more people.”
Another HealthPorte volunteer, Mary Lynch, summarized what makes it such a special resource to seniors in particular.
“Number one, we’re introduced to new doctors, and we’re at the age where we may need them,” she said. “You get to know them on a more personal level than you might in their office. Second, it’s the camaraderie with the people. It’s fun when you’re in Khol’s, at the show, or in Chili’s and you can say hi to someone you met at HealthPorte.”
To learn more about HealthPorte and all of Porter Health Care System’s programs, visit https://www.porterhealth.com/.