The Merion resident Norma Czajkowski wasn’t shy when she was asked to dance with an actor from The Piven Theatre after a performance for residents at The Merion. She stepped up on the stage and clasped hands with actor Dillon Kelleher to learn moves from the renowned theatre’s centerpiece production of its season, “Dance for Beginners.”
“She learned the steps faster than I did when I was studying for the role,” said Kelleher, who was impressed by Czajkowski’s understanding of the moves and how quickly she picked them up.
Before the dance lesson, Kelleher and actress Laurie Larson debuted skits from the play to a large crowd of residents who saw the performance before its grand opening at The Piven Theatre. The play’s subject matter focusses on relationships later in life, the impact of personal technology on relationships and the transformative power of social dance.
“This is one of many cultural, educational and social opportunities provided to residents at The Merion,” said Margaret Gergen, community outreach coordinator of the senior living community. “Every week, our residents are treated to engaging entertainment and thought-provoking performances from local musicians including the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, to various speakers and social outings in the area.”
The community knows the importance of these types of activities for adults age 65 and older. Studies show these activities can lower the risk of developing late-life disability, prevent cognitive decline and improve quality of life. The study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that older adults decrease their risk of developing disabilities in daily living by 43 percent for every social activity they’re involved in.
Take a glance at the community’s Activity Calendar to see the various exercise classes, Happy Hours, social activities, and performances that fill the schedule for residents at The Merion.