Dark clouds hang over Senior Outlook

With many elderly people living in rural area, it is difficult to stay informed and find out ways to be engaged. With our long winters, loneliness can affect many who live alone, sometimes not having contact with another person for days or longer.

Thankfully, we have senior centers that are helpful in attempting to reach those in remote areas.

The Saranac Lake Adult Center and the Adirondack Adult Center in Tupper Lake are among eight served by the Franklin County Office for the Aging. There are 12 senior centers in Essex County — including in Lake Placid, Wilmington and AuSable Forks — run by Adirondack Community Action Programs Inc.

These are great resources for those who like to join others over meals, get together to play bingo and even go on day trips. They provide services such as helping with Medicare and other paperwork that can be overwhelming.

However, cuts to important programs at these centers over the years is making it difficult. Some are losing services such as Meals on Wheels, senior bus transportation and possibly even their newspaper.

For decades, the Saranac Lake Adult Center has put out a monthly newspaper called Senior Outlook. It brings together a dedicated group of volunteers who write, edit and lay out the paper. It is distributed by mail to more than 300 members. This communication is vital, especially those who don’t have access to the internet or computers to keep in touch and aware of what is happening in their local senior citizen community. Some might find it difficult to go to the center on a regular basis, but Senior Outlook helps bring the outside world into their homes.

We have been happy to be Senior Outlook’s hired printer, and our staff members have helped with layout over the years. But now it looks like Senior Outlook may fall victim to budget cuts. We hope that doesn’t happen.