2018-09-07 / Society

Lourie Center builds fall momentum with annual festival and new lifelong learning center

By Warren Hughes

Photo courtesy National Council on Aging Photo courtesy National Council on Aging About 49 million Americans are 65 and older, a number expected to grow to 98 million by 2060. These days, on average, a 65-year old can expect to live another 19 years.

To enjoy those years, older adults strive to maintain good health and independence with regular exercise and mental stimulation, says Sandra Owensby, executive director of the Lourie Center. The facility provides more than 70 hours of physical fitness and educational enrichment programs a week for Midlands residents age 50 and up.

The National Council on Aging is dedicating this month to celebrating such organizations and building momentum for them. As one of only two such facilities in the state accredited by NCOA, the Lourie Center is doing just that by kicking off its new Lifelong Learning Center this fall along with its annual festival.

The annual festival October 5 from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. is an opportunity to learn more about the center.

“This health and wellness exposition is our annual fundraiser and features 50 senior service business vendors from the Midlands, as well as health screenings and entertainment,” Owensby said.

It is a free event open to the community. Lunch will be provided at no cost for the first 125 guests. Senior shots and regular shots will be available with a Medicare card or $30.

Owensby is especially enthusiastic about the contributions of the new lifelong learning center which will launch next month with four courses.

The classes are as follows:

•Diseases of Famous People—A lecture series on the illnesses of famous people including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Napoleon Bonaparte, Audrey Hepburn, and Jack Benny. Actual plasticized specimens will be presented. Instructor—Dr. Robert Startz, associate professor of pathology, USC School of Medicine. Tuesday, October 2, 9, 16, and 23, 1–1:50 p.m.

•Classically Columbia: Musical Understanding— A course on a variety of musical works performed in Columbia with opportunities to attend performances. Instructor —Dr. J. Daniel Jenkins, USC music theory associate professor. Tuesday, October 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2–2:50 p.m.

•Cyber Security—A course on information security from surfing the web safely to mobile device privacy and an overview of the newest technology. Instructor—Information technology expert David Pfaehler, program director for corporate and continuing education, Midlands Technical College. Wednesday, October 3, and Thursday, October 11, 18, and 25, 1–1:50 p.m.

•Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda: Your Life, Your Future—Experts in various fields will discuss important issues for life after 60. Instructor—Instructor: Sandra J. Olson, retired retirement center executive. Wednesday, October 3, and Thursday, October 11, 18, and 25, 2–2:50 p.m.

For membership and course information, call 803-779-1971, online at louriecentersc.com or stop by the center, 1650 Park Circle, adjacent to Maxcy Gregg Park near Five Points.

As a reminder to older residents, Owensby said, “The Lourie Center is your center, a place to focus on your health and happiness. Make new friends here, learn a new skill and enhance your lifestyle.”

Senior centers are the future of what aging can be with innovative programs and important community resources, she added. As just one important aspect, she noted for the community at large, “When seniors remain independent in their homes, it saves families and taxpayers money. Programs provided by senior centers cost approximately $2,000 per senior per year as opposed to approximately $75,000 to $100,000 per year for nursing home care.”

The Lourie Center is named in honor of the late Senator Isadore Lourie, who served in the South Carolina General Assembly from 1965 until 1993.

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