For seniors, working on their mental health can be just as important as maintaining their physical health.

The senior center in Nogales is combining mental and physical well being with free activities every week of the year.

It’s located at 125 E. Madison St., Nogales, Ariz.

One of the most popular services is the free exercise class, run by a local trainer.

But theres more than just getting up and moving to these classes.

Isolation is extremely hard on the mental well being of individuals. If you have to stay home all day by yourself, the isolation is a disease that will kill you,” Marcelino Verona, one of the center’s directors said.

So every day the senior center in Nogales is open for free to the public, creating a community.

A lot of us live alone, so its good to have that interaction,” Jan Newell said.

Newell says she tries to come to the center every day, and loves running the bingo games.

While the activities are fun, its the community that keeps her coming back.

Most of the time, its uno con otros, it keeps us more alive, and more active,” Newell said. “If youre not here, the next time you come in, theyre like ‘where have you been, what are you doing?’

As the directors look to continue getting funding from the state and federal government, Varona says this facility is essential to the community.

Were the only one. Were the only one who has the kind of funding for it,” Varona said.

While this is the only free senior center in Nogales, there are many other programs and resources in Santa Cruz County.

Click here to see the county’s directory of elder resources.

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