By Deedre Vriesman
We often look to older adults for what they can teach us. We can learn a lot from the rich experiences in their lives. While we often focus on what our elders can teach us, it’s important to remember that older adults still have a desire to learn new things long into their retirement years.
At Samaritas Senior Living, we know that one key to aging gracefully is to continue learning throughout your life. This was an important factor in developing the Academy program in Grand Rapids, celebrating its first year this April!
Our goal for the Academy is to give our seniors (and community members of all ages) many opportunities to learn new skills and passions throughout old age.
When we ask people about their retirement, they share that along with trying new things they want to grow personally and with others. By inviting family and community members, our seniors are able to learn from people that they don’t see on a daily basis.
We are proud that the Academy can benefit so many aspects of aging by encouraging our residents and community members to grow with us as we learn together.
We’ve adapted some classes for people with mild cognitive impairments or physical challenges, to make sure it’s inclusive for a diverse group of people. We cater to a wide range of age groups, physical abilities and interests, aiming for an eclectic menu of classes and focusing on engaging the community at large.
Our winter session, which runs through the end of this month, includes classes on cooking techniques from various cultures, tai chi basics, painting, sewing, etiquette, writing fictional short stories, political conversations, Russian culture, fashion and wine and cheese pairings.
Interested in getting involved? We’re always looking for talented individuals to share their expertise with our community.
Deedre Vriesman is Executive Director, Samaritas Senior Living, Grand Rapids.