Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

New spirit changes the old attitudes

Mary Anne Ingenthron, the facilitator of the Active Older Adult Discussion Group that meets monthly at the Stephens Branch Library in Davis, chats with Simon Klebanow at the group's January meeting. Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi and Ronald MIller's book, "From Age-ing to Sage-ing," serves as a guide for discussion and activities. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | February 19, 2013 |

Cranky, stubborn, senile, helpless, incompetent, sedentary, reclusive. And thus, irrelevant.

The list of unflattering stereotypes goes on for those in the evening of life, according to Mary Anne Ingenthron, a member of Davis’ Active Older Adult Discussion Group.

“We live in a world where we place a lot of emphasis on productivity — on work, physicality,” she said. “As people retire, the attitude in our culture is that they’re worthless: ‘Get them out of the way, they have nothing to contribute.’

“That’s being exaggerated today with the rapid pace of technology. We all have the experience of 5-year-old grandchildren knowing technology better than you do.”

But there’s a productive force, a “conscious aging movement,” looking to neutralize this perspective. The definition of senior life is reviewed thoroughly by the Active Older Adult Discussion Group, and the conclusion is opposite to decrepitude.

The ongoing discussion — often taking place at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. — offers instead an ethos of acceptance, wisdom and endless possibilities for the aged. The local seniors banded together with this mentality in late 2011.

Since then, the group’s members have been inspired to embark on individual creative endeavors — from painting and writing, to pottery and more. One of them is 76-year-old Lyle Seeband, who refers to his retirement as the best portion of his life.

What’s he doing in his golden years? “Too much, as a matter of fact,” he said with a hearty laugh.

Seeband, a longtime instrumental musician, began seriously studying voice only about a year and a half ago, about the time of the group’s inception. He improved his singing abilities by joining the Sacramento City College Choir.

On May 27, 2012, he was invited to perform with the local choir for Memorial Day in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. After nearly 75 years of ignoring his vocal potential, he found himself in a prestigious music venue — receiving a standing ovation.

Seeband’s story of igniting passion, though more dramatic than most, is not unique among the group. Nearly all of the members have in their own way connected with new and old interests.

Any skeptics of the senior collective’s zeal have only to look toward people like Ingenthron, who has taken many Sacramento City College digital art courses, giving her a strong affinity for Adobe Photoshop and book design.

Or the commitment to memoir writing of 80-year-old Robert Smith, who already has a hefty collection of stories composed.

Or even the studies of clinical psychology, 146 college credits worth, pursued by Yolanda Reina Guerra. “I like to give advice, but I don’t think anybody takes it,” she said, stirring a chuckle out of a room of her peers.

A principal post-retirement pursuance for MariLyn Brinton, 85, has been the Active Older Adult Discussion Group itself. She was the originator, and now hosts meetings on the second Thursday of each month with assistance from Ingenthron.

“We have a lot of fun, don’t we?” she said to a unanimous affirmation. “We tell jokes. We try to stay on top of the issues affecting seniors. … Health is always an issue, but that’s not all of it.”

The discussion group’s conversational territory was recently condensed to the themes present in “From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older,” by authors Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald Miller.

“It was so wonderful,” Brinton said. “I underlined just about every page, it seemed like. It provides us a great structure.”

For a group full of members with a proven eagerness for the new, a book that champions the introduction of adventure and experience into the aging process was a perfect guide for their activities.

It inspired reflective exercises; life reviews that are quietly done during meetings. Ingenthron said it is meant to impart lessons about passing on a legacy, not just what each person has earned, but what they have learned.

And, most importantly, it’s intended to influence each member as they “live their last years with serenity, purpose and compassion,” Ingenthron explained.

While there’s no guarantee the stigma associated with old age will ever fade, it’s clear that the spirit behind this “conscious aging movement” is no closer to doing so itself.

“Part of it’s about a culture change,” Ingenthron said. “We need to change the paradigm. We want elders to be respected more, but we’re also aware that we have to earn that respect.”

To learn more about the Active Older Adult Discussion Group or to inquire about attending a meeting, contact Joan Tuss at 530-757-5588 or joan.tuss@yolocounty.org.

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

     
    At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

     
    Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

    Gallery hosts poetry night

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Parenting advice on radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Archer event set for Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

    Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Check out Soroptimists at info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Unitrans persists through changing times

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

     
    Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

    Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    There are plenty of fun activities around town

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

    Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Climate change is coming for you

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    A true vision for peace

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Drivers, just follow the rules

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Let’s fix the park deck

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    ‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Barbara Archer for school board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Vote for change on board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Poppenga considers all students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

     
    Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Davis robotics team pays it forward

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

     
    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6