OUR VIEW: Flexing your mental muscles

Elder College is a good, inexpensive way to stay healthy.

If anything proves the old adage that you’re never too old to learn new things, it’s the Elder College programs on offer at the Greenglade Community Centre in Sidney.

Run by Panorama Recreation Services, Elder College is based on a similar program operated by Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University, which has satellite campuses on the mid-Island.

The programs at Elder College are many and varied — from computer literacy offerings and writing workshops, to arts and crafts classes. They appeal to a broad variety of people — those folks who subscribe to life-long learning.

Inspirational words came from self-described “new senior” Birgit Larsen, who recently turned 65. She was at a recent open house for Elder College and Greenglade, looking forward to taking advantage of the low-cost programs. For her, writing about her life seemed a good fit, as she hopes to create a bit of a history of her family for future generations. It sounds like she has some great stories to tell.

Learning how to put words to paper is only a small part of the opportunities at Elder College — opportunities people are taking more and more advantage of. According to the operators, membership has more than doubled in a year.

This could be due to the Baby Boomers entering retirement. The added interest could also be indicative of a healthier elder generation — one that values mental health as well as physical, and has no problem exercising their mental muscles.

As more and more people stay working, and as the retirement age is moved back a couple years, there will continue to be a need for education programs for those still-active minds. Elder College is a good, inexpensive way to stay healthy.