Oasis Workshops for Seniors

Discover the transformative power of Oasis workshops for seniors. Explore health benefits and global initiatives for elderly wellbeing.

May 9, 2024

Understanding Oasis Programs

Oasis programs are designed to provide older adults with opportunities to learn, stay healthy, and engage with their communities, offering them the chance to find new adventures [1]. These programs recognize the importance of lifelong learning and its positive impact on all aspects of health [1]. Let's explore the health and learning benefits of Oasis programs and the offerings they provide for seniors.

Health and Learning Benefits

Participating in Oasis programs offers numerous health benefits for older adults. Research indicates that lifelong learning has a positive impact on various aspects of health, including cognitive function, mental well-being, and social connectedness. Engaging in stimulating educational activities can help seniors maintain cognitive abilities, improve memory, and enhance problem-solving skills.

Moreover, Oasis programs offer opportunities for social interaction and community engagement, which are crucial for combating loneliness and isolation among older adults. By joining workshops and classes, seniors can connect with like-minded individuals, build new friendships, and maintain a sense of belonging.

Oasis Offerings for Seniors

Oasis provides a wide range of offerings specifically tailored to meet the needs and interests of seniors. These offerings encompass various areas, including health, lifelong learning, and volunteering opportunities to serve older adults. Here are some examples of the programs and services available:

Oasis Offerings

  • Educational workshops and classes
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Technology training
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Intergenerational activities
  • Arts and humanities programs
  • Exercise and fitness classes

Through these diverse offerings, Oasis aims to support older adults in their pursuit of personal growth, healthy aging, and community involvement. By participating in Oasis programs, seniors have the chance to explore new interests, acquire new skills, and lead fulfilling lives.

Understanding the health benefits and rich offerings of Oasis programs is key to appreciating their impact on the lives of older adults. These programs serve as catalysts for personal growth, social connections, and overall well-being, empowering seniors to revitalize their spirit and thrive in their communities.

Engaging Seniors in Workshops

To cater to the unique needs and interests of seniors, Oasis offers tailored workshop opportunities that provide engaging and enriching experiences. These workshops are specifically designed to address the diverse interests and goals of older adults.

Tailored Workshop Opportunities

Seniors can participate in workshops tailored specifically to them, with a wide range of offerings available. These workshops cover various areas such as lifelong learning, fitness, arts and crafts, technology, and more. By focusing on topics that resonate with seniors, Oasis ensures that participants have the opportunity to explore their passions and develop new skills.

One example of tailored workshop opportunities is the "Taste of Oasis" event organized by Oasis Network. This event allows seniors to sample mini-sessions of upcoming fall classes in lifelong learning and exercise. Held in communities like San Diego, this event benefits the senior community by providing a glimpse into the diverse range of workshops available [4].

Discounts and Waivers

Oasis recognizes the importance of making workshops accessible to all seniors, regardless of their financial circumstances. To support this, discounts and waivers are offered for eligible individuals. For credit classes, seniors aged 60 or over on the first day of class may have some tuition and fees waived. For non-credit workshops, waivers are available on a case-by-case basis.

It's important to note that while tuition and fees for non-credit, personal enrichment workshops are non-refundable, credits are issued for future participation in the event of cancellation or non-attendance. This policy ensures that participants can still benefit from the workshop experience, even if unforeseen circumstances prevent their immediate attendance.

By offering tailored workshop opportunities and providing discounts and waivers, Oasis aims to engage and empower seniors to actively participate in workshops that cater to their interests and foster personal growth. These initiatives contribute to the overall well-being and quality of life for older adults, creating opportunities for continued learning, social interaction, and personal fulfillment.

Virtual Learning with Oasis Everywhere

In response to the evolving needs of seniors and older adults, Oasis launched Oasis Everywhere, an online platform, in 2020. This platform aims to provide virtual classes and learning opportunities for seniors, offering more flexibility and convenience in accessing educational resources and workshops. Through Oasis Everywhere, seniors can engage in online classes from the comfort of their own homes, expanding their learning options and fostering a sense of community.

Online Classes for Seniors

Oasis Everywhere offers a diverse range of online classes tailored specifically for seniors and older adults. These classes cover various topics, including lifelong learning, health and wellness, technology, arts and crafts, and more. By utilizing top instructors and presenters from Oasis centers across the country, Oasis Everywhere ensures that seniors have access to high-quality educational experiences.

The online classes provided by Oasis Everywhere are designed to be engaging and interactive. Seniors can participate in live sessions or access recorded classes at their convenience. This flexibility allows individuals to learn at their own pace and revisit the material whenever needed. Additionally, virtual classes provide opportunities for seniors to connect with like-minded individuals and form supportive communities, even in the digital realm.

Expansion of Learning Options

The introduction of Oasis Everywhere has significantly expanded the learning options available to seniors. With the online platform, seniors can now access a wider range of classes and workshops, regardless of their geographical location. This increased accessibility eliminates barriers such as transportation limitations and allows individuals from various communities to benefit from the educational resources provided by Oasis.

Through Oasis Everywhere, seniors can explore new interests, develop new skills, and continue their lifelong learning journey. Whether it's learning a new language, exploring the arts, or delving into the realms of technology, Oasis Everywhere offers a diverse array of courses to cater to different interests and passions. The expansion of learning options ensures that seniors have ample opportunities to engage in stimulating activities and continue their personal growth.

By embracing virtual learning through Oasis Everywhere, seniors can tap into a wealth of knowledge and expertise, connect with fellow learners, and nurture their intellectual curiosity from the comfort of their own homes. The online platform has truly revolutionized the way seniors can access educational resources, promoting lifelong learning and empowering older adults to embrace new opportunities in the digital age.

Impact of Oasis Programs

Oasis programs have a significant impact on the well-being of older adults, providing various health outcomes and benefits. Additionally, these programs have been linked to a reduction in the risk of dementia among seniors.

Health Outcomes and Benefits

Participating in Oasis programs has shown positive effects on the health outcomes of older adults. Research conducted by Drs. DePaul and Donnelly found that Oasis participants had fewer unplanned hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and less use of homecare services compared to seniors who did not participate in the program. Moreover, Oasis participants transitioned to long-term care, on average, one year later than non-participants, indicating the positive impact of the program on seniors' overall health.

Furthermore, seniors who engage in Oasis programs report developing stronger relationships and a sense of community, thereby reducing feelings of loneliness. The virtual programming during the pandemic has also positively impacted the mental health of participants, providing a much-needed connection and support system.

Reduction of Dementia Risk

Participating in adult education, such as Oasis programs, has been associated with a reduced risk of dementia in older adults. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience highlighted this finding. The study concluded that engagement in adult education activities can lower the risk of dementia among seniors [6].

By providing opportunities for continued learning and mental stimulation, Oasis programs contribute to maintaining cognitive health in older adults. The social interaction and engagement in educational activities play a crucial role in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

The impact of Oasis programs goes beyond physical health benefits. These programs help seniors maintain social connections, foster a sense of community, and support mental well-being. By addressing the holistic needs of older adults, Oasis programs promote healthy aging and enhance the overall quality of life for seniors.

Community Gardens for Older Adults

Community gardens have emerged as a valuable resource for promoting healthy aging and enhancing the well-being of older adults. In the context of Oasis workshops for seniors, community gardens play a significant role in revitalizing the spirit and fostering a sense of connection. This section explores two important aspects of community gardens for older adults: designing for healthy aging and the psychological constructs and experiences associated with these spaces.

Designing for Healthy Aging

The design of public green spaces, including community gardens, is crucial in promoting healthy and active aging for older adults. A study focusing on the design of public green spaces emphasizes the importance of effective design to encourage social relations, interactions, and positive health outcomes for older people. The study proposes an interdisciplinary co-design method that involves active participation from older people to determine their main needs and preferences.

The study identifies three main factors that contribute to the design of community gardens for older adults: compatibility, fascination, and being away. Compatibility refers to the need for a multifunctional garden that accommodates various activities. Fascination emphasizes the importance of creating a sense of contact with nature. Being away signifies the desire for a metaphorical escape from nursing homes. Incorporating these factors into the design ensures that community gardens meet the specific needs and preferences of older adults.

Psychological Constructs and Experiences

The experiences of older adults in community gardens are influenced by various psychological constructs. For instance, attention restoration theory, a psychological concept, describes the experiences of older people in natural environments. Community gardens provide a restorative environment that helps older adults recover from cognitive fatigue and enhance their well-being.

Additionally, the subjective experience of older adults plays a vital role in informing the design of community gardens. By actively involving older adults in the design process, their specific needs and preferences can be incorporated, resulting in a space that truly caters to their desires and enhances their overall experience. The co-design approach ensures that the community gardens are tailored to meet the unique requirements of older adults.

Community gardens provide older adults with a space to engage in meaningful activities, connect with nature, and foster social interactions. By designing these spaces with healthy aging principles in mind and considering the psychological constructs and experiences of older adults, community gardens can become transformative environments that positively impact the overall well-being of seniors participating in Oasis workshops.

Oasis Initiatives Worldwide

As a leading organization in promoting healthy aging and community engagement for older adults, Oasis has made a significant impact not only locally but also on a global scale. Let's take a closer look at Oasis programs worldwide, along with some success stories and funding initiatives.

Oasis Programs Globally

Since its inception over 40 years ago, Oasis programs have reached over 389,000 adults in more than 250 communities through nine education centers and a national network with over 700 partners across 22 states in the United States.

Oasis has also expanded internationally. In Canada, the initiative was co-created by seniors living in Kingston and has since expanded to cities across Ontario and Vancouver. The Government of Canada's Age Well at Home Program has provided $1.8 million in funding to support further expansion [5].

Success Stories and Funding

Research conducted by Queen's University faculty members in Kingston, London, and Belleville, Canada, has shown the positive impact of Oasis programs on seniors' well-being. Participants reported developing stronger relationships and a sense of community, reducing feelings of loneliness. During the pandemic, virtual programming provided by Oasis had a positive impact on participants' mental health.

In Paris, France, the OASIS project has transformed schoolyards into green oases, providing cool and pleasant spaces for vulnerable groups, including the elderly, during heatwaves. The project has successfully transformed ten pilot schoolyards, and plans are in place to transform more asphalt-covered schoolyards into green spaces accessible to everyone. Each year, approximately 9 million euros are allocated for the transformation of around 25 schoolyards, including costs for surveillance and maintenance.

In terms of funding, Oasis programs have received support from various sources. The Oasis Everywhere online platform, launched in 2020 to provide virtual classes for seniors, offers expanded learning options and is a testament to the commitment of Oasis in adapting to the changing needs of older adults. Additionally, the OASIS Connections program, a community-based basic computer and Internet training program for older adults, has successfully increased computer and Internet skills among participants. This program has seen positive outcomes and has been supported by grants and funding initiatives.

With a rich history of empowering older adults and fostering community engagement, Oasis continues to make a difference in the lives of seniors globally. Through their programs and initiatives, Oasis provides opportunities for learning, connection, and overall well-being for older adults around the world.


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