HELPING OUR SENIORS
.......No Age Limit on Going Back to School
....A year ago, Charles Costa had taken to his sofa as a
result of health problems. Only 70 at the time, he was a
candidate for depression. But instead, this opera lover
heard about a program, called Senior to Senior, through
OASIS that pairs older adults with high school teens to learn more about the
music he loves.
...“I thought I would be working with the kids, but I didn’t realize at the time that it would also involve writing my own libretto (the words of an opera),” he says. “I don’t read music, can’t write music, but the words...”
....He wrote about having been a tuna fisherman. Instructor Nick Revelles with the San Diego Opera put his words to music. The group presented their pieces during a performance at San Diego High School, and Charles got 30 tickets so he could have his family and friends there to share this experience with him.
......Now he’s a regular in OASIS creative writing classes. Not surprisingly, his health has improved.
......The San Diego Mission Valley OASIS program is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. This continuing education program for people age 50 and older has seen many success stories among its more than 16,000 members. Not only do people keep learning, but they keep meeting new friends. Remaining mentally and socially active is a key component to a happy and productive life as you get older.
......The San Diego OASIS program and the companion program in North County have free memberships and charge nominal fees for each class. A course catalog is mailed three times a year. Many of the courses are single sessions and you can pay at the door, but advance registration is recommended. Some of the most popular are exercise classes, such as Tai Chi, Gentle Yoga, and Strength Training. The OASIS programs also offer inexpensive day trips. You can also become a tutor or a mentor through a special intergenerational program.
The San Diego OASIS is located at the Macy’s store in Mission Valley; for more information, call (619) 574-0674. The North County OASIS is located at the Macy’s store in Escondido; call (760) 432-0635.
......The OASIS programs are only one example of the many lifelong learning opportunities in San Diego County.
San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos and the University of California San Diego have the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute with academically rich noncredit courses for people 50 and older. For more information about the SDSU program, call (619) 594-2863 or see www.neverstoplearning.net. For the Cal State San Marcos program, call (760) 750-4020 or see the Web site: www.csusm-es.org/olli. For UCSD, call (858) 534-3409 or see www.olli.ucsd.edu.
The community college districts also offer a wide range of classes for older adults at a variety of sites. To locate a community college near you, call the state Chancellor’s office at (916) 445-8752 or see the Web site: www.cccco.edu.
Other great sources for learning opportunities are the local senior centers, community centers and libraries. Ask to be on the mailing list for information about upcoming programs and classes. As an example, look into the Life Options program at the Kroc Corps Community Center, which offers classes, travel, social gatherings and a special lecture series. For more information, call (619) 269-1422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.