Michigan’s Senior Odyssey Program Open to the Community
This Saturday, May 19th, Senior Odyssey will pit seven teams from churches, senior centers, and retirement communities to compete against each other, creating solutions to long-term problems where creativity is encouraged and emphasized. Senior Odyssey is a program in its second year, created specifically for older adults based off the international Odyssey of the Mind program found in schools.
The event takes place May 19th beginning at 10:00am at Genesis United Methodist Church, 1601 Galbraith SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. The competition is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. The last team will perform at 12:45
In Odyssey of the mind participants spend weeks, and even months, creating solutions to long-term problems where creativity is encouraged and emphasized. They also work on spontaneous problem solving which is quick, on your feet thinking. The result is a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and deep pride in their work. Participants learn there can be many solutions to a problem and they must work together to identify these.
Older adults experience these benefits and many more, including less social isolation, and opportunities to use their experience and knowledge in a puposeful, meaningful way. And, research has shown that keeping the brain engaged in cognitive activities can promote cognivite vitality. It has become an outlet for their creative ideas, energy and knowledge. Some team members have spent years watching their children and grandchildren compete and are now “excited to show those kids how it’s supposed to be done!”
Teams in this years competition are from: Chelsea Retirement Community, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes, Grand Rapids Community College, Heron Manor, Parkwood Presbyterian Church, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Senior Services of Van Buren County, and Walker Senior Neighbors Center
Senior Odyssey has been brought to the area through the collaborative work of Senior Neighbors, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, and Creativity Unlimited with funding assistance from Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. For more information, contact Julie Lake at Senior Neighbors, (616)233-0283 or go to www.seniorneighbors.org