After opening the Social Center, the Uniting History Foundation has created a culture event attendance program that provides over 35 clients of the Center and other isolated seniors to meet, converse, and share new experiences outside of their normal routines.
‘A large issue that retirement-aged seniors all suffer from, regardless of their income and even family, is the sudden change in lifestyle which the formerly active, professionally appreciated and sociable seniors face after concluding their work lives. The fast pace of daily lives overwhelms even the closest family members, who oftentimes cannot meet their seniors more than once a week, or only on their free weekends. At the end of the day, many seniors must face a sad reality – a table set, a house warmed, but no one to share it with,’ executive director of the Foundation Elīna Škļara explains the issue, ‘we understand and believe that each person must satisfy and take care not only of base needs such as money, living arrangements and health, but also a varied social life, which brings emotional satisfaction and fulfilment.’
The newly-created Social Center has a culture program that gives seniors the opportunity to attend culture events, visit cultural sites, experience art exhibitions, attend concerts, go on trips, celebrate traditional holidays together and, most importantly, get together for a cup of tea to talk about these events and share their impressions and experiences.
During the first visit, the seniors were able to appreciate the renovated monumental building of the Latvian National Museum of Art and view the permanent collection and contemporary arts section, and the ladies concluded that they are still more impressed by the works of classical artists.
On their next visit, clients of the Social Center were offered the opportunity to go to Mikhail Chekhov Rīga Russian Theatre to attend Marija Naumova’s musical production Līdz gaišām asarām. Participants of the event were able to enjoy a live music performance, attend one of the cultural centers of the capital, spend time together and gain new experiences that reach beyond mundane worries and needs. Despite it being physically tiresome, the participants all agreed that the event has brought them joy and that being able to dress up and go out even for a few hours gives a whole new dose of flavor and spark to the entire day and week.
On June 21, clients of the Center celebrated Summer Solstice, once again proving that this celebration unites everyone in Latvia, no matter their creed and religion. While enjoying snacks, attendants of the celebration enjoyed a wonderful atmosphere and a good mood to talk about solstice celebrating traditions over the years, what meals were enjoyed at each celebration, remembering jumping over the bonfire in their youth and, of course, the various fashions of flower crowns and even celebration hats that have been in style over decades.
To continue summer activities, participants of the culture program enjoyed the concert 'Raimonds Pauls at the Rīga Russian Theatre'. Event attendee Inna shares her impressions of the concert performance: 'The event was truly enjoyable and invoked a lot of positive emotions. The small episodes of Raimonds Pauls' biography, which were included in the concert program, were beautifully combined with his creative work. I am truly grateful to the Foundation for an invitation to this concert, and I deeply appreciate this opportunity to meet not only the employees of the Social Center but also other seniors to share an evening of conversations and experiences.'
We are already planning the next small cultural outings. If you know anyone who would like to join or culture appreciation club, please contact us at email@example.com or call +371 27 32 34 34. We will review as many applications as we can.