For Coupeville seniors like Eileen Billings, attending monthly bingo games at Coupeville’s HUB for seniors is more than an opportunity to score an extra dollar or two.
It’s a chance to socialize, enjoy a warm meal with friends and, thanks to the presence of a new information services table, a chance to connect with valuable resources.
Despite macular degeneration, Billings said she’s had no trouble scoring a win three of the four times she’s gone to Wednesday afternoon Bingo at the Coupeville United Methodist Church.
But she is aware of the effect her loss of sight may have on other aspects of her life, and said she was pleased to take advantage of the information table and senior services case manager for resources.
Billings and her son, who was visiting from Portland, spoke with the case manager on site about caregiver support. Billings said she had used those services before her husband’s death six years ago, and had found it to be very helpful.
In-home care is just one of the several services seniors have the chance to inquire about before Wednesday bingo.
Other topics included Medicare, affordable housing and general resources for seniors.
Glenda Cantrell, resource coordinator at the Coupeville HUB for Seniors, said the caseworkers answer questions about “anything and everything” senior-related.
“They’re just a great resource that someone can come and say’I have medicare issues’, or ‘I need a place to live,’ or ‘I need transportation,’” said Cantrell. “They have excellent resources to connect with that kind of thing.”
The caseworkers are present from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month.
Senior services have been a longstanding presence in Island County, but May was the first month representatives established a table at the HUB.
The HUB also hosts a variety of free programs, such as music performances and educational and presentations from community members.
Cantrell said there are typically about 18 people present at the programs, though sometimes there are up to 40.
The most popular events are the musical performances, according to Cantrell. But others, including presentations on caregiver support, hearing health and tax assistance, have drawn substantial crowds.
Upcoming events at the HUB include a presentation June 10 by Steve and Eric Harada, physical therapists; a June 17 musical performance by Broken Banjos; and the regular SAIL exercise program, which occurs on the first and third Fridays of each month.
Cantrell said that there are usually about 20 seniors who join in weekly Wednesday meals. The meals cost a suggested donation of $4, though no one is turned away.
The Town of Coupeville cooperated with Senior Services and Coupeville United Methodist Church to provide the HUB Senior Services program, which began in the fall. The church has been serving weekly meals since 2011, and has been hosting Bingo since 2012.
“This is a great place to meet people and be part of the community,” Billings said.