As the leader in aging services in the Mahoning Valley since 1947, it is Ohio Living Park Vista’s responsibility — and its privilege — to reach outside of its walls with opportunities to enrich the lives of individuals throughout the Valley.
Our location, in the backyard of Youngstown State University and near an area teeming with arts, cultural and historical venues, makes it logical for Ohio Living Park Vista to bring together these resources that challenge the minds and interests of people 50 and up to enrich their lives through learning.
When developing the Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute, Ohio Living Park Vista took its lead from others such as the Chautauqua Institute and the university-based Osher Institutes, both national leaders in lifelong learning.
The Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute is designed to be the premier entity of its kind in Northeast Ohio, with a network of partners representing the foremost cultural, historical, and educational organizations in the Valley.
Ohio Living Park Vista knows that today’s adults age 50+ have different needs than those a generation ago. They often have been more invested in physical fitness and wellness than those before them; they connect health and wellness with quality of life. They want to be cared about, not cared for.
That concept led to a shift in Ohio Living Park Vista’s culture. It began looking at wellness for its residents differently than it had in the past and inspired the desire to reach more people in the Valley than just those who reside at Ohio Living Park Vista.
First, a dedicated Rehab Center was established to offer people the opportunity for a short stay to recover from surgery or illness in an environment made just for them.
Next, the therapy services created for the Rehab Center were opened up for outpatient therapy appointments, giving the people of Youngstown another option for their physical, occupational, and speech therapy needs, with services tailored for older adults.
Aquatic therapy was then added on campus, boasting the most state-of-the-art therapy pool available to the public in all of the Mahoning Valley.
Throughout all this, Ohio Living Park Vista also kept a keen focus on enhancing opportunities for intellectual wellness.
As a result, Ohio Living Park Vista moved away from the model of usual recreational activities and crafts found in many retirement communities and senior centers, to one that integrates lifelong learning into everyday life.
Lifelong learning at Ohio Living Park Vista began as a partnership with Road Scholars (Elderhostel), experts in mind-expanding adventures for adults. Our program — a partnership, if you will, with top-level speakers and educators — is the only one like it in the Mahoning Valley.
Interest from our residents and the community alike has been enthusiastic; respondents travel long distances to join us, from more than 24 different zip codes, with the majority of attendees coming from off campus.
But even with this success, Ohio Living Park Vista was just one of several organizations throughout the Valley offering educational programs for those 50 and up. And yet, Ohio Living Park Vista was the only one of these organizations that served this age group as its primary mission. That is why Ohio Living Park Vista decided to develop this Institute and make it a premier model for satisfying curiosity, vitality and purpose.