Many people wonder what they will do once they retire. Some are choosing to continue working well beyond the normal retirement age because they enjoy it, or because they worry they would find themselves lost without something to challenge them mentally and physically. While there are many great ways to get involved in the community, sometimes it is nice to connect with others of similar experiences. This is where The Shepherd’s Center’s Vital Living Program comes into play. “The Vital Living Program is a vibrant and busy program that serves our community by providing fellowship, entertainment, recreation, lifelong learning opportunities, local tours, day and overnight trips, health and evidenced-based wellness and exercise instruction,” said Vital Living Program Director Susan Meny. “These opportunities are for adults who are age 50 or better throughout Forsyth County. Activities and program offerings are selected to support the ever-changing interests of retirement-aged individuals. With regularly scheduled programs ranging from creative to mental and physical exercise, the Vital Living Program offers folks of all abilities opportunities to participate in daily bridge, monthly book club/discussion groups and writing groups, seminars about Medicare and Social Security and one-on-one help with your computer or smartphone. We also offer the opportunity to volunteer your talents and participate in fellowship groups, adult coloring, arts and crafts, social and healing groups, Tai Chi, yoga for health, wellness and balance and warm water exercise.”
Since the beginning, the Vital Living Program has grown exponentially and has given members something to really look forward to! “It is known as the state’s ‘senior center without walls,’ because there are as many programs located outside the walls of the actual center as there are inside them,” said Meny. “Offerings occur at churches, retirement communities, recreational facilities and even businesses. These kinds of collaborations are the answer to space limitations at the center and transportation challenges for older adults. Currently, there are 15 venues outside of the center, which will likely grow next year.”
It is easy to get involved as well. “You may wish to volunteer to lead a class; I always need folks to participate on the Vital Living Planning Committee. You may like to plan trips or tours or to help set up for events and/or break them down; you may wish to tutor computer skills or volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options. Perhaps you want to donate money because more money means more programs, or you may just want to enjoy the programs that already exist, and that’s it! That’s fine. It all works,” said Meny.
There is also always something new in the works, and this year is no different! “We have a Love is in the Air event planned for February 11th,” said Meny. “There will be two performances, and Triad Harmony Express, The Men’s Show Chorus of the Triad, chapter barbershop quartets and the Shepherd’s Center Singers are on the bill. Between performances, there will be gourmet coffee and chocolate confection pairings. The cost for each of the performances is $15. Proceeds will be split between the two choruses in order for them to buy sheet music and costumes. Also, the committee is planning a Fashionista Trunk Show for March 25th from 10am-3pm. This is open to the public and will feature local apparel consultants, vendors of accessories, fairy hair, costume jewelry, etc. from various companies who will bring their affordable and very comfortable clothing to the center for sale. Then, on April 1st, we will have our first Silver Strut Spring Fashion Show for men and women, featuring day and evening wear, local models and perhaps even a local celebrity, if we can swing it.”
The Vital Living Program is supported financially primarily through donations, so they are always welcome! You can also help by giving the number “4958” to your cashier when you check out at Harris Teeter with your VIC card, which will give a small percentage back to the center each year!
“Let’s change the world now and together so that when we get there, the task will not be so daunting,” said Meny. “We will have created the world we want to live in for ourselves, our children and our elders. After all, if not for our elders, we would not be here, would we?”
For more information about the Vital Living Program or The Shepherds Center, email Susan Meny at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 336.748.0217. To view the Vital Living Program newsletter and a list of offerings, visit shepherdscenter.org.