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Friends, fun, learning key to staying mentally alert

When Darlene Bridges was eating out recently, she did something many women do. She wrapped a chicken leg in a napkin and stuck it in her purse for a snack later. She forgot about it until the next day in church when she opened her purse for the offering, there was the chicken leg.

"Wouldn't it be funny if I had put it in the offering plate?" Bridges said and laughed. A good sense of humor is healthy no matter how old you are.

Bridges, age 100, and three other residents  ages 78-88  at BrookRidge Retirement Community shared their thoughts for staying mentally alert and physically active into the sunset years.

May Helen Mallow, 88, and Janell Spencer, 84, have been friends for more than 70 years. They agreed keeping in touch with old friends helps. They were sitting at a table at one end of a large living room/activity area.

Mallow said it meant a lot to her when she first came to BrookRidge that her longtime friend lived there.

"She was already here and she helped me a lot to know where things were," Mallow said. "I was thrilled to death when I heard she was here."

Mallow said one of her suggestions for staying mentally alert is crocheting.

"It helps a lot because you really have to work your mind," Mallow said. "And exercise. I do a lot of walking. The halls are long here, and I get out and walk the halls every day. I also play bingo and we have Bible study. We really enjoy our Bible study."

The Lawton Constitution

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