Stoneridge Creek Pinochle Club (photo: Ken Sweezey)

Posted in Pleasanton, CA in the Patch – Stoneridge Creek residents enjoy playing pinochle, one of many life enrichment activities shared at the senior living community.

A trick-taking, Ace-Ten card game is taking Stoneridge Creek by storm. The Pinochle Club has become a favorite weekend pastime for more than 100 residents.

It all started with one expert, Joyce Sweezey. As the 2021 National Pinochle Champion, she’s had fun teaching her neighbors at the community how to play and win the card game. She says she’s been competing for more than 70 years, since she was out of diapers.

Stoneridge Creek Pinochle players“Pinochle is a wonderful all-inclusive game,” Sweezey said. “Anyone is able to learn the logic and playing skills utilizing my seven steps.”

Joyce and her fellow pinochle friends play every Friday and Saturday in the Stoneridge Creek card room. This has become so popular that they have a waiting list of people wanting to compete. When someone has a grand slam game, the cowbell rings, and the audience cheers. Joyce says anyone can learn how to play, and residents invite their families from all generations to enjoy the fun.

“We even have a co-player program. Volunteers help with those who need an extra hand with motor skills. We love to hear the sound of families coming and playing with their loved ones,” she said.

This has been a welcomed sight following the shutdowns of the pandemic. Along with fostering camaraderie among friends, card games like pinochle have health benefits too. Research shows Stoneridge Creek Pinochle Club (Ken Sweezey) participating in leisurely activities, like playing cards, is associated with a reduced risk of dementia and can help prevent cognitive decline in seniors.