SENIORS: A Little Bit of Learning for Everyone

by Natalie Jacobs September 30, 2013


By Natalie Jacobs

The Jewish Community Center’s Older Adult department has two very different programs running this month, each with unique audiences; but with the shared goal of enhancing life for seniors aged 55 and older.

As the number of aging adults balloons throughout the coming years, many families will be faced with unfamiliar territories and difficult choices as they work to arrange care for their loved ones. Studies show that family members are now less likely to be directly involved in the care of their aging relatives and many families are not fully aware of all the options available to them.

Here in San Diego, there are countless home care providers, retirement communities and health care plans that provide different levels of service with unique cost structures and their own ways of doing things. Knowing where to start can feel impossible, but waiting until it is too late will only serve to make things more stressful.

To help prepare people for this transition, the JCC will host “When Your Parents Need You Most: Planning for their Future Care,” on Monday, Oct. 7 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. This free educational workshop will bring speakers to discuss all manner of aging topics such as warning signs, important legal documents, Medicare, Medicaid and long-term care, and housing options. For 30 minutes after the sessions, attendees will be invited into one-on-one sessions with speakers. There will be no solicitations, so attendees can feel free to browse the resources and ask questions in an open environment. Call Melanie Rubin at (858) 362-1141 to R.S.V.P. or visit for more details.

Starting up again this season at the JCC is a new semester of continuing education classes offered for seniors 55 and older through the San Diego Community College Continuing Education Emeritus Program. As a host site for more than 25 years, the JCC offers a variety of classes for older adults on the path of lifelong learning. These classes are free of charge but students are responsible for supplying their own materials for art classes. The semester runs now through Jan. 24. This semester’s course offerings are:

Figure Study Drawing and Painting with Annette Paquet – Students will develop an awareness of line, color, shape and form with individual instruction guided at a pace compatible with each student’s personal inclination. A relaxed, non-competitive approach is encouraged. Classes will take place on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Watercolor Painting with Annette Paquet – Similar to Paquet’s Figure Study Drawing and Painting class, this course will explore the fundamentals of composition using watercolors. She will run the class in the same individualized and supportive manner. Classes are Mondays from 12:15 to 3:15 p.m.

Watercolor Painting with Kathleen Fitzsimmons – Fiztsimons will also be teaching basic watercolor techniques that will give students a solid foundation for watercolor painting. She will demonstrate wet and dry brush techniques and color layering and blending. Students will learn how to create interesting effects that will create exciting new results. Classes are offered on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Law and the Retiree: Laws, Propositions and News with Rick LeVine – This course offers introduction to the basic federal, state, county and city laws which have an impact on the daily life of retirees. LeVine will discuss contracts, torts, and consumer, estate and insurance laws. These classes take place on Thursdays from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Sumi-E Japanese Brush Painting with Takashi Ijichi – This class will serve as an introduction to the basics of this ancient art form. Ijichi will focus on line, color, shape and form with instruction tailored to individual students. Classes run on Thursdays from 12:15 to 3:15 p.m.

Courses are intended to help keep seniors active mentally, physically and socially by providing a place to learn for the fun of it. There is no homework or tests, just a relaxed environment for people to come and share old interests or new hobbies with a medium-sized class. Students are encouraged to check back in the spring semester for the return of two popular music appreciation classes. For more information about the classes offered at the JCC, call Melanie Rubin at (858) 362-1141. For more information about the Continuing Education program and to register for classes, visit


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