Two local organizations aim to keep seniors sharp

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CORRALES, N.M. (KRQE) – Studies continue to show that lifelong learning can improve brain function and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Some of the metro’s older population will be heading to class. But, the 50 and older crowd won’t board buses to get there or drive to the University of New Mexico. Instead, the learning will come to them thanks to two local organizations.

Joann Weiss is just one of many living in Corrales who are craving that extra brain stimulation and group discussion they once had in college.

Unfortunately, many feel secluded living in the small village of Corrales and driving into Albuquerque isn’t always an option.

Fortunately for Joann and the 40 other members, a non-profit group called Village in the Village is taking that drive and bringing the discussion to them.

“Many of our members who live in Corrales don’t really like to drive that far in the traffic and so we asked OSHER if they would be willing to have a branch here in Corrales,” said Chuck Elliott, President of Village in the Village.

It’s kind of like a mini branch of UNM. Instead of the seniors rushing through busy sidewalks to get to class, the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute is bringing the classroom to them.

Classes range in topics from poisonous snakes, Taoism, royalty history about King Richard the III, to more current topics like politics.

“I’m signed up to take all of them. All of the ones that are being offered this fall. I guess am a gung ho type,” said Weiss.

Just like the college courses, there is homework. But it’s that outside reading, the homework and the classroom interaction that the people taking these courses are looking for.

“It’s what keeps them engaged and active and talking to people and feeling like even after they’ve retired or after they left work there are still people that they are engaged with and will miss them,” said Maralie BeLonge, Program Supervisor of OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute.

The great thing about the classes being offered in Corrales is that they’re actually open to everyone.

If you live on the Westside and don’t want to drive downtown to UNM’s Continuing Education building, you can sign up to take the classes at the Corrales’ Community Center.

If you are interested, you can register through OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute by clicking here

For more information on Village in the Village, click here.

 

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