As the adult child of a senior who may have been living alone, the decision for Mom or Dad to move into one of Ebenezer's senior living communities takes many worries off of your shoulders. Safety and security are the main things, of course, but beyond that, one of the most powerful benefits of your parent moving into one of Ebenezer's senior living communities is the world-class programming we offer. If Mom or Dad has been living alone at home, you have probably fretted about his or her solitary life. That's about to change, in a dramatic way.
We believe it's vital to challenge our minds, bodies and spirits at all times in our lives. It's never too late to discover a new passion, learn a new skill or just have fun trying. For seniors, continuing education opens up their lives, allows them to go down new roads and gives them the excitement of learning. And one of the best parts of it all is, they're not doing it alone. They'll be surrounded with new friends along the way.
Ebenezer’s Life Long Learning Initiative is a collection of coordinated arts and education programs designed to foster growth and creativity for seniors. Life Long Learning is the process of keeping the mind, body and spirit engaged — at any age — by actively pursuing knowledge and experience. But make no mistake about it, these aren't run-of-the-mill basket weaving classes. At Ebenezer, we are fortunate enough to take advantage of the vast and sophisticated arts expertise that Minnesota has to offer, making these programs second to none.
Here are some examples of the programs available to your Mom or Dad in our various locations.
Northern Clay Center. A teaching artist from Northern Clay Center provides ceramic arts classes in partnership with the Ebenezer Ridges Campus in Burnsville. Northern Clay Center is a recipient of a learning program grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and The Wallace Foundation.
MacPhail Center for Music — Music for Life program. Instructors from the MacPhail Center for Music teach participants about music through singing, playing instruments, music composition and patterns. At times the kids from our onsite child care programs join their “Grandfriends” in collaborative musical experiences. Together the seniors and children learn about music education through this unique program, celebrating creative aging and Life Long Learning.
Visual Arts. Many sites offer watercolor and acrylic painting. Resident art decorates our walls and has been featured in a Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) documentary as well as public exhibits and art shows.
Creative Writing. Memoir writing and poetry classes help residents record their ideas on paper. The “Make Yourself Heard” project allows residents to be heard, both within the context of their living communities, as well as in the broader community. It combines artistic learning and expression with health-enhancing benefits provided through the purposeful, engaging, creation of personal and group poetry, as well as capturing these special artistic moments on video. “Make Yourself Heard” has taken place at Ebenezer Minneapolis and Ebenezer Martin Luther in Bloomington with Ebenezer Ridges in Burnsville’s program ready to start at the end of July. “Make Yourself Heard” is facilitated by teaching artists from Alzheimer’s Poetry Project — Minnesota and COMPAS and made possible through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.
Continuing Education — Augsburg College. Programs include Augsburg’s College of the Third Age, interdisciplinary discussions hosted by retired professors, which help educate residents on a wealth of topics ranging from the history of Baroque Europe to multiculturalism and world religions.
Horticultural Therapy. Our Horticultural program is one of Ebenezer's most popular programs. Our residents love to get their gardening on! You'll create seasonal fresh-cut floral arrangements, learn about transplanting and growing from seeds, cooking with produce you've grown and even attracting birds and butterflies! We also take garden- and nature-related excursions.
We also offer Everactive Exercise Classes at most of our sites. Exercise is crucial to you staying healthy and active, and we make it fun. Our Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) group exercise classes include low to moderate aerobics, strength training, and flexibility and balance exercises that you can do seated or standing.
Who knows? Your parent might find a whole new second career in the arts at Ebenezer! It's never too late!