No, this is not a photo of the Lifestyle Committee or of future Clare residents; it's a collage of active senior photos that seems to represent many of the myriad interests represented by those I met at the first Clare Lifestyle Committee meeting yesterday.
This small meeting of approximately ten future residents, led by our Director of Life Enrichment, Stephanie Berlin, produced quite a variety of concerns and suggestions for our future lives at the Clare.
I met excercise enthusiasts, political junkies, people interested in travel, cooking, swimming, dancing, grandchildren, bridge: just about anything one could think of. This is an impressive group, indeed.
Of equal interest are the backgrounds of the participants: the graduate degrees, career accomplishments, personal and family achievements, and current activities are extensive. Of course I was there to represent my main interests in books and writing. That's why I joined this committee.
While I was a bit intimidated by the perceived athletic abilities of some of the members, the ability to do things long impossible for this arthritis sufferer, I was comforted by the variety of interests represented. My earlier fears of being urged to participate exclusively in activities like bingo and bridge and shuffleboard (not that there's anythiing wrong with such activities), have been dispelled, and I was assured that there would be many choices and no pressures. For a basic loner, this meeting opened possibilities to get involved in things that might interest me, with interesting people. It also assured me that residents will be listened to, rather than treated as passive inmates.
Except that some had a tendency to be long-winded (I'm a woman of few words myself), these were people I hope to learn to know. Never underestimate active seniors! Forget the stereotypes. We're a capable, interesting group.