Ageless bond

GREENFIELD — All eyes were up and barely a smartphone in sight as 10 Greenfield-Central High School students spent time playing board games and visiting recently with some of Hancock County’s senior citizens.

Members of Greenfield-Central’s Family Career and Community Leaders of America group came to Hancock County Senior Services, 1870 Fields Blvd., not only to play board games but also to get to know older people in the community and help them feel connected to those around them.

Loneliness and isolation are a big problem for senior citizens and can have an affect on mental and physical health, said Kit Paternoster, senior services outreach coordinator. She enlisted the FCCLA members to be ambassadors for Hancock County Senior Services, to spend time with the aging people in their lives and spread the word about the services the organization offers.

Judi Anderson, a law office retiree who participated in the event, said younger people can help their elders with technology.

“By the same token, we can help them with experience,” she said.

Michelle Overman, the FCCLA advisor for Greenfield-Central, said the group tries to do something with or for seniors in the community once a year at least.

One of the purposes of the national organization is to foster greater understanding between youth and adults, Overman said.

Nancy Tracy said she loved spending time with the high school students, noting they made an effort to be present in the moment and stay off their phones during the event.

Emily Sego, a Greenfield-Central senior and the 2015-16 FCCLA student president, said she thought the event was a great opportunity for students to meet new people and learn from them.

Paternoster said she hopes to put on more events that mix generations. She said she hopes a classic movie night or a fashion show could occur in the future.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.