In a surprise ending to a recent program of Healthier Living workshops, the class attendees, who are all in their 70s and 80s, got together to sing a graduation song titled “Till We Meet Again.” Luckily for us, Ayleen Dimailig, a Project Associate at Partners in Care who led the six-week program, captured the touching moment on video.
Ayleen and Anthony Ross, who was co-leading his first workshop, had suggested a low-key potluck style lunch to celebrate the end of class. When they arrived they were startled to find a table laden with food carefully prepared by the class participants, who had also prepared a graduation song to celebrate their educational achievements.
The workshop attendees, who are all seniors of Filipino descent, are carrying on a much-loved tradition in the Philippines of celebrating the achievement of graduation and the benefits of learning through food and music. The seniors featured in the video live in TELACU Pointe, a low-income retirement community near downtown Los Angeles. This was the first time the workshop had been held at the site, and from their feedback, it’s clear the residents would like to see more.
“This workshop helped me to understand how to do exercises to help me improve, and learn about food portion size for my pre-diabetes,” commented one, while another responded that she had learned “reaching out to one another is important stimulation in our daily life for good health.” All of the respondents felt that the workshops had helped them develop a more positive attitude to dealing with their chronic conditions.
The Healthier Living workshops provide practical skills for people living with chronic health conditions, and teach strategies for dealing with the emotions that can be created by health issues. The classes also address topics such as nutritious eating and relaxation techniques.
Partners is looking forward to continuing the Healthier Living program, and its Spanish-language version, Tomando Control de su Salud, through a four year partnership to deliver health workshops and exercise programs for older adults in the City of Los Angeles. The focus is on delivering workshops at City multi-purpose centers, affordable housing sites and other new sites across the City’s Aging Service Areas. Healthier Living is funded through Title III-D funds of the Older Americans Act (OAA), first signed into law fifty years ago this year. Partners has received funding in support of these programs for the past ten years. The OAA provides a national network of aging services and funding that helps older adults to live and thrive in communities of their choice for as long as possible.