Trouble viewing this gallery on your device? Click here for photos.

MADISONVILLE (1/1/13) — Tai chi, computer classes, dancing and sticking your tongue out may not sound like typical senior citizen behavior. Yet, the seniors at the Hopkins County Senior Citizens Center in Madisonville not only take part in self defense and improvement classes but also in the silly side of life.

“It's really about engaging the mind,” said director Christen Barker, “even if it's 'National Dance Like a Chicken Day.'”

Barker is no stranger to the world of senior interaction. Her mother was a center director in North Carolina, and Barker grew up visiting the center. Now, the Hopkins County Seniors Center is her new home away from home.

“This is like a second home,” she said. “My grandmother is 98 years old. She is part of the reason I do all this. About 10 years ago, she taught my nephew how to stand on his head. She did that at 88 years old. Having fun — spirit, mind and body — we can do things to keep us healthy. If our minds are happy, you're going to live longer and you're going to have more productive lives.”

Barker said Pennyrile Allied Community Service drivers become like family to many seniors. Drivers deliver lunches to people that are unable to visit the center for lunch in the cafeteria.

“Sometimes, the driver is the only person some people see in a single day,” said Barker. “Drivers become friends. They might take in the mail. They make presents and cards for people. They do a lot of things they're not paid to do. They go beyond.”

Barker shared the story of a driver, who discovered a woman in congestive heart failure.

“If she had not been there, who knows what would have happened,” she said. “That driver still goes every day and checks on her. What they do is about more than just a meal.”

Getting to know and provide a helping hand to a senior is a “contagious” feeling, said Barker.

“It's not only about making friends but also helping yourself by helping someone,” she said. “It does your heart good.”

The Hopkins County Senior Citizens Center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and the noon meal is $5 for those, who can afford to pay. Donations to help support programs are welcomed.

Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director
Photos by Rita Dukes Smith

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Most Read This Week

April 17, 2015 11550

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 6892

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 5653

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 20, 2015 4787

Nortonville Woman Charged with Meth Possession at…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 22, 2015 3937

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 22,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 11550

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 02, 2015 8764

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 23, 2015 6892

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 3476

UPDATE: Police Can't Substantiate Injured Man…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 23, 2015 1418

Carhartt Madisonville Honored with Governor's…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 23, 2015 1195

Family Business Start up Becomes Successful…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 23, 2015 1150

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - April 23,…

by SurfKY News
April 23, 2015 939

Man Sentenced for Robbing Family While at Son's…

by Attorney General Conway
April 23, 2015 891

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
April 23, 2015 746

SurfKY Spotlight: Sunshine Garden Center

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
April 23, 2015 672

Regional Eighth Grade Math Contest Held

by Joyce Riggs
April 23, 2015 605

Accident Snarls I24 Traffic in Christian County

by Keith Todd