Live A Full Life Throughout Your Life
A baby born in 1914 had a one percent chance of living to 100.
A child born today has a 50 percent chance of celebrating their 100th birthday.
Since 1840, life expectancy has grown between two and three years per decade. For those of us in our 50s and 60s today, that means we are likely to have several active, healthy decades, if not more, ahead.
So what are we to do with these additional decades? How do we plan for them? How do we make sure they are good years?
Study after study shows the way to stay healthy and productive throughout life is to stay physically active, socially engaged, and learning new things at every stage and every age. The buzz-phrase around such findings is “life enrichment.”
Done well, life enrichment feeds and nurtures our physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual wellness. And while you could go about creating a life plan that encompasses all these facets on your own, Western North Carolina makes it easy by having several institutions that offer high quality, life enrichment programs for older adults:
Osher Lifelong Learning Center at UNC, Asheville (OLLI)
A nationally acclaimed learning community for older adults, OLLI offers opportunities for lifelong learning, leadership, community service, and continued growth in just about whatever subjects and arenas participants wish to explore. Founded in 1988 as the Center for Creative Retirement, OLLI’s programming today includes intellectual and cultural pursuits as well as social, physical, and practical life courses (such as life transition and retirement relocation planning). To find out more and get involved, visit www.olliasheville.com.
Blue Ridge Center for Lifelong Learning (BRCLL)
Located on Blue Ridge Community College’s Flat Rock campus, BRCLL also offers a full slate of enrichment and educational programming. Participant can select from courses on a wide variety of topics—from history and culture to investment and legal matters to various dance, movement, and exercise classes. The program also hosts a series of brown bag lunches with various speakers and EdVentures—educational trips to local and regional places of interest. To see their upcoming schedule of classes and events, go to www.brcll.com.
Life@Western Carolina, Biltmore Park Campus
A program of Western Carolina University (WCU), LIFE offers noncredit classes for adults ages 50 and over. Courses range in topics from history and culture to health and science to geo-political issues. Classes are taught by current and retired WCU faculty. Both WCU’s Cullowhee and Biltmore Park (Asheville) campuses offer LIFE courses. Information and schedules can be found at ccnt3.wcu.edu/learn/edoutreach/LifeAtWesternCarolina.
By their very nature, all these programs offer opportunities for socialization, volunteering, com-munity building, life planning, and networking. They serve to broaden your world, open your mind to new possibilities for your life, and ensure the upcoming years are rich and meaningful ones.