Aging gracefully and having fun at the Shoreline - Lake Forest Park Senior Center

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Fall prevention class
“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.” 
--Frank Lloyd Wright 

By Donna Hawkey

We all age as unique individuals and the process starts right after we’re born. 

With some support during our life transitions, we can better realize the worthwhile goal of aging with grace and have lots of fun, too!

We are fortunate to have such support services within the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Activity Center.

The center operates under the 501(c)3 umbrella of Sound Generations and is geared for all adults age 50 and older. Remember how eager you were to become a senior in high school or college? A senior title was honorable then just as it is now!

The services and activities offered are vast and impressive, and they get accomplished through many types of partnerships.

The Center’s Director, Theresa LaCroix, says, “We are proud of our service providers who implement the classes and activities. We seek out organizations and individuals who want to work within an all-inclusive environment. And we strongly respect all individuals of any race, gender, and political or religious affiliations.”

It is an organization whose mission is to help us age with more joy and strength, and through all this, they are building community, too. Cultural diversity is celebrated, and this center’s membership includes a population of Korean, Hispanic, Cantonese, and Mandarin residents.

Front desk volunteers
And of course, this center would not exist without all the dedicated and smiling volunteers! 

Here’s a sampling of the diverse programs offered. Remember this is only a partial list. 

You can pick up a full activities guide at any local library, Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park, or at the center itself. 

Or if you become a member, it is mailed to you via the postal service.

Lifelong Learning and More

A relationship with the French School located adjacent to the center is a special one. While adults are learning French at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center, next door, the children are also learning French through the immersion method. These same adults then volunteer to read French books to the children right in their school!

Games were taking place in various rooms while I was visiting. A game played in Korea called BADDUK was challenging engaged residents, and one of the players is a two-time national champion! And in another room, “Hartu!” was being enjoyed, which is a board game Shoreline entrepreneur and resident, Ken Marcable invented and packaged and is available to purchase locally.

And if you want to play something like Bridge or Pinochle, that is offered, too.

Sewing, knitting, and quilting at the Senior Center

The “Thimble Bells,” as they call themselves, are the sewing group, and they even go on a retreat. They like to teach each other skills like cross-stitch and needlework, too. 

And if you want to improve hand-eye coordination further, you can join the Knitting Club.

This group loves to teach new members, and when you see their work, you will realize the value and expertise here.

You can even buy some adorable knitted baby items and cozy slippers from their boutique area at the center, and they are all made with loving hands right here in our community!

Driftwood sculpting
Do you have any interest in driftwood sculpturing? 

These classes are hosted by the Northwest Driftwood Artists who describe their work as artists who “do not have a particular idea in mind when starting a piece found at a mountain lake, beach, riverside, or trail.

"Rather, we seek to find the design which natural processes have made inherent in the piece, and through painstaking cleaning and preparation, enhance that essence and make it more prominent.”

Another favorite is silver jewelry making, and some even repeat this class and make all their holiday gifts here. This is taught by a silversmith with 40 years of experience!

The Art Club allows you to work with almost any medium except oil. You bring your supplies and create projects, and if desired, you can get input and advice from others. 

Some are even sold at the annual Shoreline-Lake Forest Park “6x6NW” Arts Festival show!

Coloring books for adults is another favorite, and especially for those with such diseases as Parkinson and Multiple Sclerosis, it can help with motor control and is a relaxing pastime.

Fitness Galore

There are twelve different fitness classes from gentle yoga to aerobics to fall prevention, and four forms of dancing, including clogging and all levels of line dancing. 

There is something for everyone, and most all fitness levels are accommodated.

Social-Meal Engagement Opportunities and Parties

Hot lunches are available to purchase and provide a great way to connect daily Monday to Friday.

Birthday parties are celebrated once a month, with entertainment and a gourmet lunch.

Friday nights are family movie night.

Halloween is celebrated and some dress in elaborate costume style.

The clogging group performs
at events around Puget Sound
Travel Journeys

Today’s seniors lead more active lives overall, and many want to travel but haven’t done it before, or they need travel companionship. A partnership with a travel agency provides trips for various needs and interests, and I hear they really take excellent care of their guests.

One such trip this November is to the Festival of Light-Loy Krathong in Thailand that celebrates the end of the rainy season. 

I’ve attended that soulful celebration once, and it is jaw-dropping awesome, and you are among some of the friendliest people in the world. 

An adventurous trip is so perfect for group travel. Other fall trips include the wine and spas of Hungary, and the Seine River Cruise, Paris to Normandy.

There are local seasonal trips as well.

Seahawk fans!
And of course, there are usually some volunteers around who are real Seahawk fans, too.

“If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.”
--Margaret Mead

Listen to the wisdom of Margaret Mead and check out the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Activity Center.

Halloween party
Become a member and participate and discover your inherent skills and beauty, or develop new hobbies and make new friends!

Or pick up a complete printed Activities Guide at your local library, Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park, or at the Senior Center located at 18560 1st Ave NE #1, Shoreline in the southernmost building on the Shoreline Center complex.

Watch for my next post that will cover other aspects of the center such as health services, both traditional and alternative, Meals on Wheels, transportation, legal and tax services, room rentals, and more!


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