No, Nicolette Hume is not trying to recreate the
Jerry Springer Show at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center. She just wants to create a better world for the senior citizens (or elder adults) of this community. Even if she has to cause
some tremors of worry, concern, dismay or even shock among their friends and loved ones.
“I want us to talk about things that will help our people thrive, be invigorated, hopeful, and vibrant."
No topic – NO TOPIC – is too bold for her presentations. Hume wants to tackle any issue head-on instead of putting up barriers to enlightenment and understanding. Even if a topic might seem outrageous or risqué. At a talk on online dating for senior adults, radio personality Kelly Hoffman made the declaration, “Everyone is entitled to a great orgasm.” Evidently, the overflow crowd in attendance was in full agreement. First they laughed with delight, then they applauded and did everything but shout “Amen.”
“If things I’m doing are such taboo topics, then why are so many people coming?” Hume asked. Truly, the Living Well talks are selling like hotcakes. Only recently a topic asked, “Is Marijuana good for you?” A few days later the theme was “A Conversation on Sex,” which was remarkable for a couple of reasons. One was that the overflow crowd had to brave icy roads to get there. Second, half of those in attendance were men, whereas most previous talks attracted only one or two members of the male gender. Obviously, sex sells even better than hotcakes.
On the surface it seems that Hume is going beyond the fringe, but these are things that greatly affect senior citizens, and Hume has the statistics to prove it.
Take sex, for instance. Not that the LOACC is a den of iniquity, but people of advanced age have as much desire for companionship, intimacy and love as their much younger brethren, and some are even prepared to take risks to get them. “The STD (sexually transmitted disease) rate for senior adults is at a record level,” Hume said. “It’s higher for seniors than for any other age group. Contrary to what younger generations think, seniors have a lust for life, just like anyone. Stories like this push alarm buttons.”
Marijuana is another alarming topic. In recent times society has been brought kicking and screaming into a serious discussion on the potential benefits of marijuana. The recent program at the LOACC was presented by representatives of Nectar Cannabis, who answered all of the questions people had about marijuana but, previously, were afraid to ask. It focused on medicinal and palliative benefits, different consumption methods, and a basic explanation of how cannabis works within the human body.
Like every subject in the Living Well series, the marijuana report featured experts chosen for their extensive knowledge of a topic. Seniors attending the series get the right stuff. “These are experts and organizations I have carefully vetted,” Hume said. “I don’t blindly choose them. These are people with a leg up in their field.”
More hot button topics are on the way for Living Well, and there are also talks that will cover sensitive, difficult issues like restoring relationships with estranged children and the off-the-wall (but much needed) how to manage a narcissist. Hume has no problem with such typical elder citizen program topics as financial management and memory care. She just wants to spread her boundaries wider in Lake Oswego. It’s working, because attendance for the Living Well Series has been outstanding.
Plus there is much more evidence of success. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Hume is pleased to point out that senior citizen centers across the nation are taking cues from Living Well and adding programs that push the envelope.
An even better indication that Hume is on target is that her program recently received the prestigious award. The Lake Oswego Adult Community Center’s wildly popular program, “The Living Well Talk Series” has recently been awarded the National Institute of Senior Center Programs, Excellence in Health and Wellness, from the National Council on Aging. Hume created this series with the purpose of bringing fresh, innovative and enlightening topics to empower others to live life on their own terms! Ann Adrian and Nicolette will be traveling to Washington D.C. this June to receive this prestigious award at the National Council on Ageing Conference.
But, such rich rewards are not why Nicolette Hume has brought the Living Well Series to the LOACC.
“I want to honor the needs of our people no matter what it takes,” she said.
For more information and registration call Hume at (503) 635-3758. All ages are welcome to the Living Well Series.