Coloring brings cheer for seniors

By Nicholas Elmes -

At the Walnut Cove Senior Center nimble hands use colored pencils to fill in complex adult coloring book designs, creating unique masterpieces and smiling faces.

The coloring takes place at 10 a.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month when Nonie Sands leads the Cheerful Hearts Coloring class at the center.

“About a yer and half ago I saw a story about the adult coloring books on TV and I went wild over it,” said Sands. “They said you could go online and buy books for it so I did and started coloring. These are created for adults to help us relax and get rid of the stress of the day and be happy and bring back childhood memories.”

Sands, who works with the county senior services department, said she had been asked tostart a class based on her passion at the Walnut Cove Senior Center about two months ago.

“The first class we had three people, and now we are up to six,” said Sands. “We are only supposed to color for about an hour, but most of the time we just keep going and it ends up being an hour and a half.”

Some of the seniors’ work is on display in the front of the center, and Sands said she is considering planning a reception when they have more work completed.

“We just talk about the past while we sit here and color,” she said. “It is good of them to get out and meet with friends and meet new people.”

Several of the seniors participating in the class said they enjoy the adult coloring books at home as well, but noted that it was nice to be able to color with a group.

“I love doing butterflies,” said Margie Bullins, noting that coming to the senior center was the best thing that had happened to her recently.

“You get tired of watching TV,” agreed Brenda Bowman, who participated in the class for the first time last week. She said she was so excited about the class that she had packed her coloring materials the day before.

Walnut Cove Senior Center Coordinator Kim Steele said the coloring class was just one of the many classes offered for seniors at the center.

“Most of our programs are free if you are 55 and up,” said Steel, noting that there is a small fee, $3, for a few classes like line dancing and yoga. “Exercise is huge thing. There are a lot of older adults trying to stay healthy so every day we have some sort of exercise or physical activity. We have line dancing, chair exercises, and a walking club. There is still a lot of interest in bingo and we have classes in crochet and knitting. We also have a literacy program two days a week with inter-generational sessions where we have a few adults who are trying to learn to read and some children coming in and working on literacy.”

She said the center also offered educational programs which provided seniors information on Medicare and scams they may be confronted with.

“If you are sixty or over you can participate in our hot meal program,” she added. “Golden Corral caters that for us from Monday through Friday and we also do some home delivered meals.”

Sands said she would be willing to stat coloring classes in other areas of the county if there interest, noting that people could contact her at the Danbury Senior Services office by phone at 336-593-8156.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

By Nicholas Elmes

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