Dennis Stubbolo is passionate about his mission to enrich the quality of life for senior citizens in Sunny Isles Beach. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find their passion and turn it into a successful reality, but Dennis did just that. In December 2010, he was asked by Harvey Busch, then Chairman of the Sunny Isles Beach Mayor Norman S. Edelcup’s Advisory Committee, to become Chairman of a new committee—the Senior Welfare Subcommittee. Soon, under the leadership of Dennis and committee members David Gartner, Nancy Leyton, Joe Masters and Comm. Roslyn Brezin, entirely new horizons started opening up for senior citizen residents of Sunny Isles Beach. In 2017, former Mayor Edelcup made a generous donation and became a Board Member of the group. At that time, they changed the committee’s name to Social Citizens of Southeast Florida.
Dennis understood the need to provide activities for the seniors and ensured that his committee’s mission would be to ‘educate, entertain and socialize’ so this demographic would always have friends and activities to look forward to. Patricia Churchland, a contemporary philosopher who focuses on philosophy and neuroscience, said, “We long to belong, and belonging and caring anchors our sense of place in the universe.”
Studies have shown that shrinking social circles, poor health, life changes, and even transportation challenges can mean isolation for older adults. If isolation leads to loneliness, it can have many adverse effects on health and quality of life. Especially in seniors, the emotional state has physical consequences that can be devastating: the lack of social relationships is as much a risk factor for death as smoking or obesity; loneliness can cause high blood pressure, increase the risk of depression, and cause a higher level of the stress hormone cortisol; people with few social connections or who feel lonely have 29% higher risk of heart disease and 32% higher risk of stroke; and lonely people have a faster cognitive decline than those who have more satisfying social connections.
Fortunately, Dennis and his committee are on the forefront of ensuring their participating seniors do not have to worry about being lonely. With monthly luncheons, Broadway theatre shows, educational trips and wonderful meals, there are now 125 members of the Social Citizens of Southeast Florida who are treated like family and enjoy all the benefits offered by the Social Citizens of Southeast Florida.
For more information, www.socialcitizenssef.org; 305.333.2865