The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center Seniors Program is a friendly environment where senior citizens of all backgrounds can interact and take part in a number of various activities and classes.
Lunch is served at 11:30 AM most Thursdays. And it is everyone’s favorite time of the day. Traditional Chinese “comfort” dishes are served:
Tomato Beef Lo Mein
Soy Sauce Chicken
Steam Fish In Aunt Sally’s Special Sauce
Taro and Roast Pork Curry Chicken
Oyster Sauce Beef and Fried Egg Over Rice
Pork Ball Congee with Corn Chips
Pork Won Ton Noodle Soup
Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce
Chinese Sausage Fried Rice
On holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Fourth of July, Cinco de Mayo, and St Patrick’s Day lunch is turkey and all the sides, ham and yams, fried chicken and potato salad, tacos and beans, and corn beef and cabbage
This March a special lunch was planned and prepared by one of our senior member. Susan, a Hawaiian native, has retired in Tucson with her husband. The special bento plate consisted of teriyaki chicken, spam musubi, and cucumber salad. Yummy!
Do you have a favorite lunch we can serve our Thursday group?
There is a speaker scheduled for every third Thursday of the month. Various topics relating to seniors are presented., Susan Cooper demonstrated “tai chi for fall prevention “, Dr. Li Schmidt’s topic in April is “Get doctors to listen”, Northwest Fire presents in May senior home safety, John Keller made a presentation on “organic gardening”, in June Quality Strength gym will speak on “Simple Strategies to Improve: Health, Sleep, Nutrition, & Exercise” Clare Zhang’s topic in September is “Health tips for Autumn & Winter”, in October Caremore healthcare will make a “Medicare” presentation, in November Steve Liu will speak on “Plant Based Nutrition, Exercise, & Purpose: Longevity w/ Quality of Life”, and in December Santa Claus will speak on holiday stress.
Because many of the senior members belong to health insurances that provide the Silver Sneaker program the Chinese Cultural Center is fortunate to have an instructor from the Silver Sneaker program. There are forty to fifty members in this program. They work with balls for eye and hand coordination, lift dumbbells for strength, do stretching exercises, and many movements for balance with the aid of a chair.
There are two levels of tai chi classes. There is a beginner’s level and an intermediate level. The class is very popular with the seniors. Tai chi is recommended by many doctors today. Tai chi is an ancient form of integrating mind with body and spirit. Tai chi involves ones posture, breathing movements and meditation.
Several benefits of tai chi are stress reduction, reduction of high blood pressure, improve balance, may delay progression of osteopenia/osteoporosis, opens joints diminishing arthritis pain, a gentler form for stroke and cardiac rehabilitation, and improves memory retention.
Line Dancing is the first activity the seniors can attend in the morning. The class is taught by Karen, a local country swing instructor. The dance class provides the seniors listening skills, following instructions skills, balance, rhythm and coordination, and FUN.
Ping Pong is played by several seniors who have a running tournament. This game really gives them the eye and hand coordination skills. These players are always baiting others to play.
Mah jong is the game of choice for most of the seniors on Thursdays. There are players who are so good, they don’t even look at their blocks but only feel them. There are many beginners too. There are four players to a square table. The top of the table is smooth so the blocks move with ease. There are generally ten tables so that makes forty players every Thursday. Many of the players play at other locations on other days too. The game is like gin rummy or poker where players make combination of straights and/or three or four of a kind. You can play with three but best with four players. This ancient Chinese game is much easier than the Western mah jong game. The memory retention improves with every game. If you don’t, you will be losing all the time.
Some of our seniors celebrating Halloween in their best costumes. Sarah Stephenson’s gorilla suite took first place in the Seniors Program Costume Contest and won a free years membership. Be sure to join us next year in all of the ghostly festivities.