A. Marlene has been married for almost 49 years now and is the proud mother of four, including twins. Prior to retiring she had worked in the field of social work for more than 40 years. She retired from her position as a professor at Wayne State School of Social Work.
Her husband likes to tease her that she has covered ALL the areas of social work - a full tour from working in jails to working with everyone from children in head start to youth and senior citizens. She loved every minute of it! Now she works part-time for her church writing grants, and they just received a big grant to give 50 tablets to seniors. A. Marlene’s church has been very active in initiatives for its senior congregation members. Plus she also works with her SAGE group to assure that people are getting the training they need to stay connected.
A. Marlene first heard about GetSetUp thanks to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services partnership with GetSetUp to offer free classes to all residents 60+ of Michigan. The word has been spreading via Facebook, word of mouth, emails, announcements, and so much more and now more than 33,000 Michigan residents are taking classes with more joining all the time. She first heard about this partnership through an announcement highlighting this partnership on the Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) website.
“I love to learn and I’m a bit eclectic in my class choices. I have a real variety of interests.”
Her eclectic interests lead her to hop into Guide Deb’s recipe exchange and enjoy trading new ideas for the kitchen together. A. Marlene has been a vegan for the past 8 years so she is really interested in perhaps starting an Ambassador led-discussion around recipes related to meatless meals.
She also enjoyed learning what Nextdoor is about and has taken a Zoom class. Sometimes she even retakes them to refresh her memory. Thanks to these classes she has learned how to host her own Zoom meetings. Her favorite tech class involves playing Kahoot games on Zoom, which are lots of fun! She’s hoping to learn how to host these games online to bring them to her local SAGE community.
“I love the opportunities that GetSetUp provides for us. Classes are free [thanks to the MDHHS partnership] and that makes it more manageable for everyone.”
A. Marlene, a Health Alliance plan member, comes regularly to the meditation classes as she feels that Glenda is an excellent speaker and facilitator for both new participants and those who attend on a regular basis.
“I went on it the first time and I was very anxious. At the time we were looking for a heart for my 4 months old grandson. He needed a transplant. Hoping that heart would come meant I had a lot of anxiety. So meditation class was a good way for me to get some control of my feelings. They allowed me to cry, and that was a way to expose those feelings. Now I’m learning a lot about the different types of meditation and just how to relax. It’s hard with everything racing through your head.”
Through meditation class, A. Marlene learned bit by bit how to relax and move the focus of her thoughts. This class time to find some quieter space and peace meant that A. Marlene took these classes as often as she could. In one such class, she was able to return with fabulous news!
“It was so nice to have them listen and support me. In my next class, once my grandson got the heart, I could celebrate with them! It was just so nice - all the camaraderie going on. You could tell they cared.”
A. Marlene was able to share this exciting news with her peers in different classes where she felt comfortable. Plus she’s joining her peers in classes like a Social Hour to Meet a Guide, Caribbean, and African Dance, and she’s really looking forward to taking a class on podcasting. She would like to reach out to others and discuss the benefits and fun ways to be vegan. She already is the master of carrot dogs, a healthy hot dog made of a marinated carrot, that even her son-in-law who isn’t vegan loves! She wants people to know that you can eat delicious and healthy food being vegan.
“I would like to be able to be more involved with being a vegan. I’m trying to make sure that I’m maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul.”
Furthermore, A. Marlene thinks seniors can learn a lot about great crafts, another passion of hers, from the class Recycled Crafts: Making the Most Out Of What You Already Have.
“I am concerned about the waste we have. If we can use items another way, then we should. There is so much you can do with items and save money instead of trying to purchase everything.”
A. Marlene is just one of many people who enjoy finding new ways to recycle items that they have in their homes in fun new ways. New GetSetUp classes are just adding to A. Marlene’s many skills and helping her stay active during the pandemic.
“I just want to emphasize again how much I enjoy the classes. It’s a great way to spend this isolation period. It was a godsend that these classes were provided to us by Michigan.”
Marlene has found support, camaraderie, and learned fun new skills on GetSetUp.
Why not join her in exploring interest groups on GetSetUp?
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