Elder College going online with dozens of courses this fall

There are 16 courses in the September session

VIU Elder College is going online in September 2020.

Fifty-three instructors have agreed to offer their courses online and the topics range from Algebra and Calculus, Just the Easy Stuff to Alzheimers and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). VIU Elder College members will still have exciting learning opportunities during the COVID-19 restrictions that are preventing in-person learning across all the B.C. post secondary institutions.

There are 16 courses in the September session that starts on Sept. 8. Many courses such as Practical Photography are back, by popular demand. The course titled Why the Arts Matter is now offered in two sessions. And there are new courses such as Casino Gaming: Past and Present that includes discussions about the history of gambling, early casinos and addiction.

“Attaining and Maintaining Mental Health” is the theme for the Friday Forum that will be offered on four successive Fridays afternoons. Mental health is a fitting subject for the older population who are identified as the most vulnerable in the current pandemic and isolated from friends and family as they comply with the coronavirus public health restrictions. The topics covered will be social isolation, family caregiving, the Vancouver Island crisis line, energy healing, the human/animal connection and a conversation in music.

A second session commences on Oct. 27 with 18 courses that includes the return of Salish Sea: A Year on the Wild Side. Road Safety for Seniors is a course presented by a retired RCMP officer that has now been extended to four weeks. The popular course Good Bugs, Bad Bugs, has also been extended this year and now runs for seven weeks. One of the new courses, Who Discovered America is offered in three sessions and discusses how the early First Nations people journeyed to the Americas and the explorers who preceded Columbus. Another new course is The Practice of Self Healing, an eight-week course that includes a discussion of scientific findings as well as ancient practices that improve well-being.

There are also one-day sessions that are single seminar style courses with a course fee set at $10. Good Touch, Bad Touch is a new one-day session that explores how grandparents can deal with the topic of unsafe touch. For those wanting to learn about strategies for protecting our phones, computers and online accounts from cyber attacks there is Simple Strategies to be secure Online. The other topics are Advance Care Planning — Because We All Die; The Charitable investor: Making a Difference; Six Stages of Your Caregiving Years; and Secret Life of Pots: Emily Carr’s Ceramics.

Course fees range from $21 to $52.50 depending on the length of the course. Membership in VIU Elder College is $20 and is required of all participants. A VIU Elder College membership is the passport to many wonderful and exciting learning opportunities and comes with added benefits such as one free admission to Milner Gardens. Another benefit to members this year is exclusive registration for the online Saturday Speakers series which will be restricted to members only.

The Fall Saturday Speakers begins with a presentation on Oct. 24 from Lynne Bowen, who is a well known Nanaimo author who writes about local history. The topic of her presentation is Those Lake People: Stories of Cowichan Lake. The second presentation in the Saturday Speakers Series will be given on Nov. 28 by Dr. B Brett Finlay from UBC. His topic is The Role of Microbiota in Health and Disease.

VIU ElderCollege has a toll free line 1-866-734-6252 for registration, information, membership sign-up and securing a spot in the Saturday Speakers Series. There will be no in-person registrations because of the closure of VIU facilities to the general public. All the VIU Elder College courses and presentations will be offered through Zoom, a free online communications tool.

The course calendar has been published online at viu.ca/eldercollege. Facebook users can also use facebook.com/ElderCollegeVancouverIslandUniversity and a Facebook account is not required to view VIU Elder College information and posts.

VIU Elder College is an adjunct program of Vancouver Island University that offers lifelong learning for those who are 50 years of age, or better. VIU Elder College has been offering continuing education in Nanaimo and Oceanside for more than 25 years. The program began in 1993 and has more than 1,400 members.

More information is available at viu.ca/eldercollege or by calling 1-866-734-6252.

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