What seniors have to say
"I know more about being young than you know about being old!" That was a comeback suggested by one of our patrons to the gentleman who expressed his pet peeve that the young people in his life seem to "talk over him."
"I may be old, but I still have a lot to offer" – everyone in the room nodded in agreement. One person suggested that we make a sign for our building and post that as our new motto. The 30 people in the room had a good laugh over that one.
This was a snippet of a discussion that ensued following a monthly TED Talk program which I am privileged to facilitate at the Westlake Senior & Community Services building (aka the senior center). For those who are not familiar, TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). It began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics – from science to business to global issues.
Every month, I select a TED Talk on different topics of interest. Last month's talk was chosen by request. It was about how we can best continue relating to our family and friends who have dementia. It provided an opportunity for people to share their experiences, struggles, successes and even some fears.
Not all topics are this heavy; other recent topics included: "Choices That Can Change Your Life," "The Power of Introverts," "There's No App for Happiness" and "What's Good about Getting Older." The hourlong (sometimes longer) program is a great mix of learning something new from an expert in the field, and then sharing questions, opinions and reactions. It's a great activity to stimulate the mind as well as socialize.
Inevitably, there are always a good handful of folks who are sparked by the conversation and stay to "visit" with each other long after the program concluded. Whatever the topic, we (myself included) always seem to leave the room feeling revitalized.
Other "discussion" oriented programs that are regularly offered here at our center include: Reminiscing, New & Views, Coffee & Conversation and Book Discussion. All offer great opportunities to socialize and stimulate your intellect.
To learn more about this and other programs at the center, check out our monthly newsletter at www.cityofwestlake.org/157/Community-Services. You can also stop by and see us at 29694 Center Ridge Road and ask for a tour. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are located on the northwest corner of Center Ridge and Crocker.
For more information call 440-899-3544.
I am the Director of the Senior and Community Services Department for the City of Westlake. I am also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.