“I love the Senior Center.”
“You are good dancers!”
“I want to play music like you when I grow up.”
Those were comments from some of the 24 energetic rock and rollers as they left a local Senior Center last week. They ranged in age from five year olds to age 10.
It was spring break. An outing planned for Adventures Kids’ Group, a daycare facility, was to visit seniors at a Senior Center. Visit they did … and danced, and sang, and lunched. Those watching the two groups interact found it difficult to decipher which group, at opposites on the age spectrum, was most agile on the dance floor, or at the very least, was having the best time.
While seniors enjoyed their $4.00 lunch of orange fruit, sherbet dessert, and bean soup, the children had packed their own delicacies in lunchboxes. The day center caregivers, as well as the six band members with Peggy and the Brock-a-Roos, encouraged the children to perform with their own instruments, to sing, and to dance with the seniors “if they would like to.”
No one held back and applause of encouragement concluded each piece of music. At one point a large circle of seniors and children encompassed the entire dance floor. They held hands while learning and performing the appropriate foot, hand, head, and body motions to “Do the Hokey Pokey With Me.” The joy-filled interaction could not have been fully anticipated by the adults who planned the trip and accompanied the children.
In addition to swinging and singing, the kids met with the center’s memory coach. While she teaches Memory Class on Wednesdays, 12:30 p.m., at the Enumclaw Senior Center, she addressed the issue at the children’s level, asking them what memory tricks they used to remember some things. Her senior class emphasizes boosting the brain with fun and stimulating exercises.
Knowledge about memory included a surprise – the effects of “sniffing” the herb Rosemary. She told both youngsters and seniors that sniffing the fresh herb, Rosemary, (in advance of a test, of a project, of an event) enables people to do things with more clarity and improves memory by nearly 80%. Topping off a morning full of fun, the memory coach shared smells of the fresh herb from her grocery store veggie box. It was, indeed, a morning to remember.