Today I Learned...
- Community is vital for active aging. Through connecting over shared passions on GetSetUp, Ofera found mental stimulation and physical improvement and support from her fellow Learners.
- Lifelong learning leads to lifelong wellness by helping nourish our mind and body.
- Growth has no limits. Ofera's courage to step outside her comfort zone through GetSetUp's diverse activities has helped her discover hidden talents and self-confidence.
s active agers retire and adapt to changes, opportunities for community and growth become even more important. 62-year-old homemaker Ofera E. from Ernakulum in Kerala exemplifies how lifelong learning enriched her quality of life through each phase. When the pandemic started, and people had to stay alone, Ofera found GetSetUp, “Since I had to manage household chores and had no assistance, I joined the classes whenever I found time. It was a great way to spend my free time at home, meet people virtually, and explore different activities.”
Through dance, art, and cultural exchanges, Ofera's creativity blossomed with encouragement from GetSetUp Guides, and where shyness once prevented her from exploring hobbies, being part of a compassionate community encouraged self-assurance.
"I have had a wonderful experience attending all the sessions on the platform. Engaging in classes has not only helped me with my posture but also led to some weight loss. My primary focus is pursuing my interests and hobbies, such as dancing, for mental well-being.” Through activities close to her heart, like painting, cooking, and singing, she has discovered new ways to feed her creative spirit. “The platform provides excellent Guides like Parul and Pallavi, who conduct engaging painting sessions. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to enjoy these activities. It's a wonderful way to spend time and brings back nostalgic memories.”
Dancing, in particular, has led to personal breakthroughs. "I have significantly improved my dancing posture as the teacher pointed out my hunchback and encouraged me to stand straight. Now, I feel confident and no longer shy."
Her passion for cooking was further fueled with the launch of the GetSetUp Cookbook program, where she sent in her recipe and, to her surprise, was selected and soon featured in her first ever cookbook, GetSetUp Kitchen: A Global Culinary Journey, where she showcased the recipe to make Kubbah. “It is a traditional Kochini and indo-Baghdadi dish made on festive occasions. It is traditionally a non-vegetarian meal, but I gave it a vegetarian twist. I am the first in my family to cook it in a vegetarian form. The recipe’s origins are from the 18th century when the Baghdadi was traveling, a ship slipped into Malabar. The people from the ship settled in the Malabari areas and combined their tastes with the area's food. This recipe originates from that mingling of cultures.”
Today, she continues to attend cooking sessions on the platform hosted by the community, "I greatly enjoy Archana R S and Bharathi's cooking classes, where I've learned a wide variety of dishes." And variety remains the spice of life for this Lifelong Learner, whether honing mind or body. "I really enjoy all the sessions of all the Guides, it’s really hard for me to pick," shares Ofera.
Lifelong learners like Ofera remind us that engaging with others through shared passions fosters fulfillment regardless of age. By embracing learning as a collective endeavor, we transform ordinary activities into meaningful experiences of upliftment. Challenges faced alone may seem, overwhelming, yet besides an empathetic network, any hurdle can be overcome. "I had a conversation with Meena during the 14-day Yoga challenge, and I noticed she was feeling lazy. I encouraged her to move her hands and legs instead of sitting idle. Similarly, I also started slowly moving my hand up and down, as it used to cause me pain before. The community of participants is incredibly supportive and kind towards one another," she says fondly.
When asked, what she is ready to learn next, she shares, "Currently, I am enjoying singing classes and finding them very interesting. The teachers are helping me improve my voice, making me happy to see progress.”
Ofera's journey highlights the community's powerful role in active aging - no matter life's pace or place. When individuals come together in a spirit of joy, curiosity and care for one another, lifelong wellness grows naturally. To join our community of active agers, WhatsApp Us or download our GetSetUp India App today from the Google Playstore.