Feel Good Fridays: Caldwell Library Offers Ongoing Health Series

Seniors today are living longer and in better health. And for motivation, they don’t have to look too far. The Caldwell Library, 268 Bloomfield Ave., has a lot to offer for elders who strive for enhanced well-being.

“Feel Good Fridays” is a series the library offers, running weekly for about four or five successions per year. All programs are free and begin at 1 p.m. A light lunch is served, comprising of sandwich wraps, potato salad and a beverage. Sometimes pizza is offered.

“Health Benefits of Red Wine and Chocolate” kicks off the next series which begins on Fri., Feb. 26. There will be free samples of chocolate while professionals from St. Barnabas Hospital speak about heart health.

Health programs began at the Caldwell Library in 2008 when the library was involved with the LIVE (Lifelong Involvement for Vital Elders) curriculum, which began at the Parsippany Library and expanded to Caldwell and Verona in support of the elderly community. Feel Good Fridays were offered once a month and were discontinued in 2012.

Library Director Claudine Pascale, and Adult Program Coordinator Fran Larkey decided to bring back the series last October. Pascale said, “They were well received. Everyone has enjoyed the programs.”

Feel Good Fridays are geared towards seniors, but the programs are open to anyone interested. Pascale recommends registration, as the seats get filled quickly.

Upcoming presentations include: March 1 “How to Feel Good and Improve Your Mood;” March 8 “Stroke Awareness;” March 18 “Melanoma;”

In the past, the most popular program was “Healthy Sleeping: How to Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep.” Patrons of all ages came.

Pascale said, “It was interesting to see that people across the board have trouble with sleep issues.”

Another popular topic that filled the room was “Healthy Eating Made Easy.” Pascale said, “People are always looking for ways to make healthy decisions when it can be difficult.”

“Healthy and Successful Aging” was the third most popular topic. Ways to improve the diet as one gets older and exercises to keep up strength, enticed library patrons to learn.

Pascale meticulously selects health topics from a list provided by St. Barnabas. “Based on speaking to library patrons, what interests them,” she said. A program outreach coordinator assists Pascale in making a decision by researching what is popular in other libraries. “As the program continues, every few months, I’ll be asking more about feedback,” she said.

Whether the program remains as “on-going” depends on budgeting. Pascale said, “I would like to see this as an on-going. I know there’s an interest. As long as we can support it financially and continue to provide lunch.”

Pascale’s passion for this program stems from her own interest in health topics.

She said, “It’s [health information] something people are always researching. Rather than find information online, it’s better to get information from health professionals. It’s a good way to provide information to the public.”

For more information, visit: https://www.caldwellpl.org/.

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