It is a golden era for living out your golden years. Americans are living longer than ever, and for many older adults, it is a time of life that is filled with great vibrancy and vitality. The perfect example of this can be found at Grossmont Center, where San Diego Oasis helps mature adults stay active, engaged, and in touch with the world..
Oasis is a national organization founded in 1982 and it opened the San Diego chapter in 1987. San Diego Oasis has been at Grossmont Center since 2017. “As a nonprofit, we are contributing to the health and wellbeing of older adults and shining a much-needed light on the needs of this population,” says Simona Valanciute, president and CEO. “We are a one-of-a-kind organization operating out of two storefronts to offer Grossmont shoppers over the age of 50 the opportunity to learn, exercise, and engage. We are changing the way people feel about aging.”
San Diego Oasis is a marvel of customer care. It offers an astounding 2,000-plus classes each year. In an average week, older adults can practice tai chi or line dancing, learn how to make a mosaic or succulent arrangement, or attend classes on subjects such as foreign languages, history, or current events. There are also several kinds of walking tours and day trips scheduled throughout the year where participants can explore and enjoy local museums or wineries. The possibilities for older Grossmont Center patrons are endless!
There are also outreach opportunities for adults in their later years who find giving back to others is an important part of staying healthy and strong, both mentally and emotionally. For instance, San Diego Oasis sponsors an intergenerational literacy tutoring program that pairs older adults with at-risk, low-income elementary school students to improve the children’s reading skills, self-esteem, and attitudes toward learning. The connections that are formed in this program are incredibly special and offer the adult tutors a unique way to build social relationships while enriching the lives of young students.
Those kinds of relationships are especially important for older adults. Having a strong social network prevents feelings of isolation and loneliness while contributing to good health, according to the National Institute on Aging. San Diego Oasis is a perfect place to meet new people and develop friendships. “We love being in the Center because people can stop to investigate what Oasis is all about. We have a very welcoming atmosphere,” Valanciute says. “Also, our members can take a class, shop, and have lunch with a friend.”
San Diego Oasis also offers social opportunities at its special community events held throughout the year. Three times a year, as San Diego Oasis begins a new term of classes, it hosts Taste of Oasis. Attendees enjoy demonstrations and book signings, raffles and giveaways, and refreshments, plus they have the chance to sign up for courses at “early-bird” prices. This event is always a popular one and is a terrific way to see what Oasis is all about!
One of the newer community events is the Get Connected Technology Fair for 50+. This free event focuses on the latest in cell phone and personal tablet use. Older adults can learn how to stay online, discover new apps, and acquire online tech tools that can help keep their brain active and sharp. An expert will also be on hand to answer any technology-related questions. This event takes place Nov. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
San Diego Oasis is able to deliver these high-quality programs targeted directly to its customers because staff members take the time to get to know their clientele and truly understand what they want. This kind of service is a hallmark of our “shop local” tenants. These locally based businesses specialize in supplying unique goods and services to our community. Our singular shops, restaurants, and service providers make Grossmont Center distinctive in San Diego County. It is unlike any other mall in the area, and because of that, the Center draws customers from all over. These customers help generate the sales tax revenue that contributes to a thriving La Mesa, where the funds are used for city maintenance projects and other worthwhile municipal programs. As you can see, shopping local is a wonderful thing.
Come explore all that San Diego Oasis has to offer older adults in La Mesa and the surrounding community. With a diverse lineup of classes and excursions, a warm and caring staff, and an ideal location, San Diego Oasis can help you truly shine during your golden years.