On April 14, 2004, the Landon Center on Aging hosted the very first of our Brownbag Lunch Series: "The Benefits of Pet Ownership for Older Adults" presented by Wayside Waifs. Since that first brownbag we have continued to add new programs to our Community Outreach programs to better serve our older adult community.
Leading it all has been Matt Chandler, our Program Director for the Life Enrichment and Wellness programs for the Community Outreach. Here is an interview we recently had with Matt reflecting back on the Life Enrichment Series.
When was the Life Enrichment Program started?
The Life Enrichment Program began in April 2004, as a side project of Laura Zahner and me. We started with a basic exercise class that we taught when we weren't working on a post-stroke exercise study. Eventually I started the Brownbag Lunch Series as a monthly program. It has grown to a weekly program that only takes holidays and blizzards off.
What types of programs have you added?
The scheduled fitness classes keep growing and growing. We currently have a waiting list for those and we are always trying to be creative with our limited budget to get everyone in. Hopefully, by this fall, we will be adding more classes. We also offer yoga, Tai-Chi, meditation, Zumba, stretch and balance as alternative drop-in fitness classes. We also host creative writing and art classes that are led by wonderful and creative people that volunteer their time.
What changes have you noticed over the past 10 years?
The baby boomers came of age. They don't just want to play bingo at the senior center in their retirement as their parents did. They want to challenge their brains and body and we try to provide them with the resources to do that.
How has the community benefited from these programs?
They are able to come to a centralized location for their fitness and educational needs. They also find social opportunities here to build special friendships.
What is your wish list for future programs?
With the success we've had with our programs, we are at capacity with our current set-up. We will need more space before we can act on our wish list.
Here's to another 10 years of serving our community and others.