Montecito Magazine 2020

Dick McLaren ~ Vista del Monte “Th re’s more than you can handle!” says Dick McLaren, when speaking about the programs and activities at Vista del Monte, the retirement com- munity where he has lived for five years. Dick, whose 36-year career as a chemical engineer and marketing executive with DuPont took him and his family all over the country, has a curious mind and keen sense of humor. As chair of Vista del Monte’s program com- mittee, Dick works with staff to plan fireside chats with residents. “Each month, I moderate a con- versation with a resident to shine a light on a par- ticular topic. We get to learn about their lives and experiences. We talked with some Europeans who went through World War II and learned about things that we didn’t have to go through in the United States, and we had a Nobel Prize winner in Physics,” says Dick. The program also brings in speakers from the Santa Barbara community, from a retired violin maker to members of the Santa Barbara City Council. “A lot of our programs are generated by resi- dents,” says Dick. He notes that “many had a desire to improve their computer skills, so a tech-savvy resident now teaches classes that help residents stay You’re Never Too Old Exploring New Interests By Nancy Ransohoff • Photography by Karen Hastings “It’s never too late to start something new, to do all those things that you’ve been longing to do.” – Dallas Clayton Aging isn’t what it used to be. The stereotypical image of grandma in the rocking chair has been thrown out the window, as Americans are living longer and creating a new concept of the “golden years.” Residents of Santa Barbara’s retirement communities may still have a well-deserved rest in that rocking chair, but only after a day filled with activities from tai chi, yoga and oil painting to smartphone and computer classes. Studies have shown that hobbies, classes and creative activities have a mind-body connection and are an important part of healthy aging. In addition, the social interaction and friendships that they foster provide a sense of connection and well-being. Whether pursuing longtime hobbies or discovering new interests, Santa Barbara seniors understand that they’re never too old to enjoy an active and engaged lifestyle and to learn something new. 46 Montecito Magazine Summer–Fall 2020 4