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Free service available to adults 55 and over in Clackamas County. Learn more about it at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Clackamas County Behavioral Health and nonprofit Lines for Life have launched a new 24/7 crisis call line that will offer help to adults and their loved ones in the county.

The mission of the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center is to provide citizens with ways to enrich their lives.

Every day the center's staff offers just that: ways to enrich lives through educational classes, exercise, lunch, support groups or other human services such as medical trip escort. No matter what you do at the center you will have an opportunity to socialize.

Most of us have experienced the surge of endorphins after a great visit with a friend. Socializing is vital to our health; we are social creatures and need the interaction with other people.

According to "The Dangers of Loneliness," an article published in Psychology Today, evidence shows that when our social needs are not met we mentally and physically deteriorate.

The stress of loneliness can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure and memory deterioration. Socializing is a skill that needs to be kept sharp; if we get into a groove of social isolation our skills become weakened and it becomes much more difficult, often even feeling impossible, to socialize.

The LOACC is here for you. We are here to foster socialization in your area of interest: learning, game playing and exercise — the list could go on.

If you have been lonely for a while, coming to the center might seem a bit overwhelming. Clackamas County Behavioral Health and the nonprofit organization Lions for Life have created the solution, the Senior Loneliness Line, a 24/7 crisis line that will offer help to older adults and their loved ones in the county.

The loneliness warm line is a friendly connection made via the phone. The Loneliness Line is designed for adults age 55 and older who live in Clackamas County and is staffed by trained volunteers who are there to provide support, listen and connect with you.

The goal is to improve the quality of life for those experiencing loneliness or isolation or who may be suffering from depression or anxiety. The number for the Loneliness Line is 503-200-1633. Call today or visit seniorlonelinessline.org. Perhaps after a few calls you will be ready to visit the LOACC.

The lunch menu this week features chicken paella on Friday, June 8; fish tacos on Monday, June 11 and tuna casserole on Wednesday, June 13. Cost is a suggested donation of $4 for those 60 and over and $5 for everyone else.

The LOACC is located at 505 G Ave., Lake Oswego, 97034. A list of activities and support groups can be found on our website, loacc.info, under the Calendar banner.

Click on "View the Adult Community Center Calendar" and then the activity for more details.

Call 503-635-3758 to register for classes, events, make lunch reservations or schedule a massage.

Maria Bigelow is a program supervisor at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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