Beth McGuire believes that creative aging stems from passion. What are you most passionate about? Think back to the moments in your life when you were happiest. For Beth, it was learning, teaching, and working with older adults. As she has gotten older, Beth has tapped into her passions and her professional and personal experiences, to create Learning Rocks, a program that provides new learning experiences to adults in assisted living.
Beth began her career as a passionate teacher and school administrator, but she was also a caregiver for her aging parents. She paid close attention to the experiences of friends and loved ones who lived in assisted living communities. She soon realized that there was a real need for energizing programming that would challenge older adults mentally in a social environment.
That’s how Learning Rocks was born. She shared her ideas with assisted living residents and, motivated by their enthusiasm for the project, quickly developed a curriculum based off of what they wanted to learn more about: everything from meteorology to Hollywood history to US geography.
Her program has seen tremendous success. Beth says that her participants feel more positive all around. In fact, one even said, “I feel like I have my mind back!”
What has been her biggest challenge? Not enough people are aware that learning opportunities for folks in the second half of life aren’t just for entertainment – they are vital experiences that help both mental and brain health.
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