"Improv comedy is so stimulating, it's kind of like vitamins for the brain." So says 85-year-old Lois Peltier, who is a resident and a member of an improv group at the Vi at The Glen, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Glenview.

"We're often called the 'World's Oldest Improv Group' because most of us are primarily in our 80s, and we have a couple [members] in their 90s," said Peltier, who lives in a two-bedroom residence at the Vi with her husband, Noel, 87.

The senior improv group has 10 members and practices every Wednesday afternoon at the retirement community with students (from freshmen to seniors) from nearby Glenbrook South High School.

"We love working with the students," Peltier said. "Plus, it does seem to be good for the students to work with us because when they see us doing improv it helps them to appreciate that life doesn't end with high school or college and that grandparents can have a good time, too. Surprise! Surprise!" Peltier said. "Over the years many of them have gone on to college and some come back and visit us."

Peltier has been a member of the improv group since she moved to the Vi seven years ago. Sometimes the troupe performs at local events, but most often for residents of the retirement community.

"Improv keeps me young. It's a challenge like any puzzle or game although we don't win at this. But you still want to do well and have others do well too," said Peltier, who is a retired nursing home activities director.

To help practice, the senior improv troupe often starts with a location and then each member has to start from there and develop a character.

"Seniors here are amazing because they've retained their sense of humor, ability and flexibility," Peltier said. "I'll work with maybe three other people at one time and we learn to feed off each other [for the comedy]."

"Not everyone shows up every week, but sometimes that's good because fewer people seems to help seniors who are little more timid than others. They have to get up and do it and find they are very capable," Peltier said.

Meanwhile, residents at the Vi at the Glen have plenty of other activities to enjoy.

"We offer so many recreational options -- fitness classes, aqua aerobics, tai chi, yoga, walking groups, golf outings, poker nights, socials, themed parties, concerts, book and current events discussion groups and computer instruction," said Andrea Agazim, lifestyle director at the Vi. "We have a play reading group, memoir writing workshops, book clubs, arts and crafts and a knitting group that makes blankets for charity. There's even a garden here, so residents can do their own gardening.

"Improv is great, but there are so many other things to do here, too," Peltier said.

Vi at The Glen is a retirement community that offers its residents a combination of housing, dining, and certain amenities and health care services in return for a monthly fee and an entrance fee. Residents do not purchase their apartments. The entrance fee and monthly fees give the resident the right to occupy his/her apartment for life and cover the services while residing at the community.

The community consists of a three-story main building with common areas and 251 one- and two-bedroom apartments. There also are 45 free-standing villas surrounding the main building.


Bookmark and Share
Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment

[▼/▲] More Emoticons
:)) ;)) ;;) :D ;) :p :(( :) :( :X =(( :-o :-/ :-* :| 8-} :)] ~x( :-t b-( :-L x( =))