Seniors Continue to Learn at Fun Wellness College

LearningSeniors

Residents create Bermuda Village College to sharpen minds and promote active lifestyle

Where is the magic senior vitamin? Where’s the retirement pill of happiness? What do I do now that I’m retired?

After mulling over these questions, a group of Bermuda Village residents began to search for answers. After studying, talking and exploring, a “Fun Wellness College” for residents was established.

The college’s purpose is to encourage an active pursuit of sharper minds and stronger bodies. Best of all, the program is free! Residents select their respective level of participation. Research has shown that when adults live an active lifestyle, exercise at least three times a week, follow a healthy diet, continue to learn new information, listen to music, and stay involved with those around them, they will lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

Professors (mentors) assumed leadership roles and approached residents to explain what Bermuda Village College is all about. The professors help with setting goals for exercise, diet, social activities, music and new learning activities that are individually suited to what each person can reasonably and safely accomplish.

Classes have been held on world religions, planets, backyard birds, the micro-world, nuclear accidents, bird migration, weather forecasting, the universe, music therapy, the Bible and current events. Strength training, aerobics, aquatic exercises, and creativity classes are also available. Safety is emphasized through discussions, lectures and handouts.

The community’s culture has been enhanced by a buddy system, designed to “check on your neighbor” through visits and calls. These gestures provide a framework for “acts of kindness” – a neighbor just might bring over cookies, talk over a cup of coffee, water plants or pick up newspapers while the “buddy” is away, or walk a pet.

Special programs have included a music month beginning with the nationally recognized ALIVE INSIDE program on music therapy, followed later in the month by a performance by the College Chorus. The month ended with a music/dance performance by the Village Tappers. The goal of music month was to encourage therapeutic use of music throughout the community.

Positive anecdotal results of the college-themed program are encouraging. Residents are exercising more, participating in more scheduled events, and following through on trying to reach goals. Residents who are participating in the buddy system are enjoying the social contact and peace of mind. It is difficult to measure acts of kindness, but we see lots of smiles and hear lots of good stories!

One resident who lives independently and uses a cane, wrote a note to say thanks for encouraging her to exercise more, attend the various lectures, and join friends for social events. She conveyed feeling more energetic and exhibited a more positive outlook.

Understanding the value and rewards from continued learning in retirement, Bermuda Village was also instrumental in helping to organize the startup of the Lifelong Learning Program at Wake Forest University. Free transportation is provided to residents who participate.

Bermuda Village College’s monthly array of new classes and events complements the ongoing activities and life-fit programs provided by Bermuda Village, helping residents to achieve a healthier and move active lifestyle.

Bermuda Village is a mature, full scale retirement community located just 10 minutes from Winston-Salem, within the gated Bermuda Run Country Club community. For more information, visit BermudaVillage.net.

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