OLLI announces new leadership program for senior adults

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Furman announces the formation of Senior Leaders Greenville, a program designed for senior adults to get involved and become voices for the rapidly growing number of seniors in the Greenville area.

Joining OLLI in the Senior Leaders Greenville initiative are community partners Senior Action and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System Lifewise.

The year-long program is open to approximately 40 applicants. The cost of participating in the program is $350, and scholarships are available.

The application deadline for the 2014 class is Dec. 16, 2013. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Dec. 18, and orientation will begin Jan. 28, 2014.

Senior Leaders Greenville equips graduates to be advocates and change-makers, representing the senior population in a variety of ways including serving on boards or commissions, lobbying for issues affecting seniors, attending civic meetings and perhaps even running for office.

Through lectures, seminars, tours and working groups, seniors explore issues identified in the Lt. Governor’s State Plan on Aging, which includes topics such as health, reeducation, transportation, senior services, caregiving, end-of-life issues, nutrition and technology.

As of 2010, South Carolina ranked 23rd among states with populations 65 and over – at about 13 percent of the state’s population – a figure expected to rise to 22 percent by 2030.

“Making decisions now to prepare for, support and encourage healthy aging for this growing population is imperative for South Carolina,” says OLLI director Lucy Woodhouse. “Harnessing the crystallized intelligence, wisdom and experience of our retirees for the betterment of Greenville and the individuals involved will help prepare our community for this growth,” says Woodhouse.

Interested senior adults can learn more by going to the OLLI @ Furman website and linking to the Senior Leaders Greenville page. The website includes the year-long calendar of events and a downloadable application form.

Applications are also available from Bon Secours Lifewise, the LEAD program of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Senior Action, and the OLLI office in the Herring Center for Continuing Education on the Furman University campus.

For more information go to www.furman.edu/olli or call 864-294-2998.