Yikes! How did that happen??
Overheard in the hallway at Riverstone:
“Yikes! I am eligible to attend a Senior Center –how did that happen??”
Not just once or twice – but so often this refrain rings in our hallways, as older adults express the surprise that all-of-a-sudden they are over 60! Turns out — these folks are not so down about it, thanks to so much going on at Riverstone!
“I retired last year after 30 years as a neonatal nurse. Though I long-planned to retire at 65, I wasn’t entirely ‘ready’ you could say. I set up some travel, some dinners with friends, but when I tired of planning things, I found a void that I just wanted filled with… something else. But I didn’t know what.”
Riverstone’s “Senior Center” has been given new purpose as an “Older Adult Center” – not to remind us we are all getting ‘older’ but to invite lively participation from those who are surprised that AARP calls them ‘senior’ now.
“I came originally for the music: live music and men and women dipping and dancing. This Older Adult Center was nothing like I imagined. Meals, conversation over lunch, Zumba, Tai Chi – I started to find the activity that was missing from my life. I found new purpose. “
Riverstone listens. In the hallways, around the lunch table, with our advisory board of older adults, with satisfaction surveys: We want to know what our members want to do, like to do, and what gives them renewed energy and purpose.
From painting sunsets in art class to learning and practicing English… From reading and discussing literature to beading bracelets in craft sessions… From becoming proficient on the computer to exercise workshops and health education…
Camaraderie, life skills, lifelong learning, creativity, and purpose – are just some of what one finds when peeking in at Riverstone.
“I was the only neonatal nurse, but I met law clerks, mechanics, waiters, seamstresses and restaurant owners. Although we came from so many different walks of life, we found solidarity in this bright and welcoming space that convinced us we still had so much to learn, to share, and to offer.”
People come for the music… Or the meals around a table where new friends discuss last night’s telenovela. They often stay (and stay and stay), as Riverstone listens, and hears the need for legal help (available monthly), and benefits help or housing support (available five days a week), and parties and trips and birthday cake (all year ‘round).
What a joy — and what a surprise. Older Adult Centers are not just for ‘older adults’ – they’re for us ‘young’ ones, too!”
You can help Riverstone stay vibrant and active, providing purpose and connection for so many — honoring parents, grandparents, and someday maybe even you?
“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.”
— David Bowie