Cathy’s Lifelong Learning Journey
Learning in the snow without having to leave home
As we age, staying active and engaged in meaningful activities becomes increasingly important. Cathy, co-director of a local senior center in Vermont, understands this firsthand. She has worked with the aging population for years and is now experiencing some health issues. With these new challenges, Cathy has had to look for alternative ways to stay active and occupy her time meaningfully. That's where GetSetUp comes in.
“I co-direct a local senior center and have worked with the aging population for a number of years in different capacities. I’m getting to be that age as well, so I’m finding things like GetSetUp particularly interesting to me. I’ve always been very active, but as I’m aging, I have health issues that are new. I’m having to look for alternative ways to move and occupy my time meaningfully.”
Through the Central Vermont Council on Aging, Cathy discovered GetSetUp, an online learning platform designed specifically for older adults. Thanks to the partnership between the Vermont Area Agency on Aging Association and GetSetUp, Cathy and other older adults in Vermont can access classes for free.
"I have used it at home and given the link to several people and told them that they have to check the classes out.”
Cathy has taken several classes on the platform, including indoor walking and travel classes. She has done the indoor walking class the most and is participating in a mindful and breathing work research study through her health plan.
"It's hard for me to find ways to move my body because of my health issues, but the indoor walking class has been great for me. I particularly love the indoor walking Guide’s energy."
Moving Beyond Health and Wellness Benefits
Cathy has found the classes easy to get into and navigate. She believes that the classes have shown her a number of health benefits.
“The ability to do these great classes inside and not force myself to walk in the snow has been great.”
Getting additional exercise is helpful in the snow, but it’s nice to escape the cold and travel somewhere else too. That’s why in part, the travel classes have also been a favorite of Cathy's.
"I have wanted to do a cooking class and haven't made it yet, but I've taken a few travel classes, including one on unique places in London. It was really cool."
Although Cathy has mostly taken movement and travel classes on GetSetUp, she is also eager to explore other topics.
"I love history and any history classes. I also put in to be notified when French classes come around again. I just haven't dug into all that GetSetUp has to offer yet."
One challenge that Cathy and the other senior center director have faced is promoting the classes to their members with enough advanced notice. To address this issue, she has suggested promoting "pop-up" events internally when they have enough interest.
"If we have enough people on a regular basis, we could promote pop-ups. We haven't tried that yet, but we want to see."
Cathy has found GetSetUp to be an easy-to-use and valuable resource for lifelong learning.
"I am a real believer in GetSetUp. When I first read about it, I wondered what the catch was, and I was pleasantly surprised about how easy it was to use and how it really was free. I love it and tell as many people as I can about it."
As the population ages, it's important to have resources like GetSetUp available to older adults who may not have access to traditional learning opportunities. The partnership between GetSetUp and the Vermont Area Agency on Aging Association is a model for other organizations to follow in providing valuable services to older adults.