It might be hard to believe, but COVID-19 can have an upside. The pandemic has ushered in a new paradigm for learning. There are now countless ways for people, and specifically seniors, to keep their neurons firing with just the click of a button. Here are some ideas to help stretch the mind, discover foreign lands and learn a new skill.
AARP VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES
Promoting health and well-being for older Americans for more than 60 years, AARP provides a goldmine of stimulating classes and fun activities. Examples are trivia nights, Arizona virtual tours with the Hip Historian Marshall Shore, Fitness Boot Camp, music and voice jams and university lecture series.
For more: local.aarp.org/phoenix-az/events
COVIA COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAMS
Covia provides online and telephone classes for seniors, with over 70 groups meeting each week. The classes are made up of participating staff, facilitators, presenters and other volunteers. Some of the classes offered include TED Talks, Open Mic, Exploring New Zealand, New England Summer Road Trips and Netflix movie talks.
For more: seniorcenterwithoutwalls.org
MARTIN PEAR JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER (JCC), SCOTTSDALE
According to Melissa Markovsky, chief marketing officer of the Martin Pear JCC, “The JCC exists to build connections in a setting that enriches physical, mental and spiritual growth. Though we have pivoted to currently supporting those connections mainly in a virtual manner, supporting Scottsdale seniors continues to be a vitally important part of our mission.” JCC’s online program, J at Home, offers classes such as flower arrangements, learning about Parkinson’s disease, brain games and a book club.
For more: vosjcc.org/j-at-home
With a Phoenix library card, you can open the window to a wealth of enriching self-guided classes. Knitting, clutter control, photography, calligraphy, cake decorating and gourmet cooking are just some examples. Some classes have assignments where participants send in pictures, and there are practice sessions as well. Library cards can be obtained online.
For more: phoenixpubliclibrary.org
SCOTTSDALE PARKS AND RECREATION
Dozens of classes can be accessed through the parks and recreation website. Examples include racquetball, ballroom dance, guitar, Spanish, adult Aikido and much more. Fees are listed with a class description.
For more: scottsdaleaz.gov/parks
SCOTTSDALE SOCIAL SERVICES/CASE MANAGEMENT
The City of Scottsdale provides social services to senior adults and their families. Social workers are available for in-person or telephone appointments every day from
8 a.m.-5 p.m. free of charge. Examples of topics they cover include low vision, Alzheimer’s support, chronic pain and other senior issues. Services are offered at:
Granite Reef Senior Center
1700 N. Granite Reef Road, Scottsdale
Via Linda Senior Center
10440 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale
In-person senior classes will be offered at Granite Reef Senior Center and Via Linda Senior Center starting Sept. 14.
For more: anc.apm.