Studies continue to show that among the aging fears of older men is irrelevance in the post-retirement years. At The Palace Suites, Social Director Adrian Cabrera has worked with the senior living community’s gentlemen to help them renew their sense of purpose while tapping into their special interests.
Geriatrician Laurie Jacobs and former director of the Jack and Pearl Resnick Gerontology Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City once said, “Men fear retirement because it’s how they define themselves and how they fill their time.” She also found that because their opinions were solicited less once they retired; they often felt “invisible.”
Among the gentlemen recruited by Cabrera are Carl Snyder and Paul Herzog.
Snyder, 86, leads a Poker group that meets every Thursday while Herzog, 93, facilitates the Current Events Discussion on Mondays.
When they moved to The Palace as widowers, they didn’t envision these new roles but were receptive to opportunities to meet and socialize with others. Now, they are well-known by their neighbors and appreciated for generously donating their time and talents.
It was natural that Snyder was suited to take on a poker club. His love of the game started when he was attending the University of Miami.
“I found the game fascinating and so enjoyable,” said the former University of Miami chemistry professor. “The people who get the most out of playing poker are the ones who play for the game, not the stakes.”
At The Palace, the game is designed that no one wins or loses money. Each player receives chips to play and winners receive Palace bucks that can be accumulated and redeemed for gift cards. Players with all levels of experience are all welcome, including beginners.
The former chemistry teacher explains his club is enjoyed by an enthusiastic group of ladies. Men used to play but now the ladies have embraced the game.
Herzog’s passion also led him to his new role at the senior living community. He parlayed his love of news into leading a current events class on Monday afternoons.
A self-proclaimed news addict, he prepares by reading the New York Times, Miami Herald and The Washington Post along with news blogs and watching political talk show comedians including Bill Maher and Steven Colbert. Typically, he’ll devote six hours a day to his research but finds time to use The Palace’ fitness center.
Each week, Herzog compiles 30-40 articles and selects those he feels will create interest among the group. He begins each group by showing a TV clip of a political comedian before sharing information about the articles he’s selected.
“It’s not just politics,” he said. “We also explore some off-the-beaten-path topics and even new scientific discoveries.”
His class, which initially started with five people, now attracts as many as 25 and continues to gain new participants. He attributes the class’ popularity to his ability to cater to the needs and interests of residents.
“It’s good for my mind and I’m helping myself in the process,” he said.
The Palace Suites offers an extensive monthly calendar of activities including educational classes, crafting, fitness classes and excursions.
The community also has a partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of The University of Miami for lecture series.
To learn more call 305-271-2220 or visit www.ThePalace.org.