Although there may a common perception that older adults are usually inactive, a retirement living center in North Carolina is trying to prove otherwise. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, and is one of 72 such facilities across the country aimed at providing senior citizens with an active lifestyle.
The center offers a wide range of programs for the residents, from lectures on global economics and computers, to classes on Tai Chi and the immigration debate.
The model for facilities such as this dates back to an establishment that was started in St. Louis, Missouri in 1975, and has been integral in changing the concept of aging.
"Senior centers have been thought leaders in terms of promoting independence for older people and showing that older people can learn and are still interested in learning," Jeff Williamson, a professor of geriatrics at Wake Forest told the news source.
Programs that stress mental and physical activity in older adults can yield significant benefits. The Centers for Disease Control reports that an active lifestyle has been shown to improve both physical health and mood.