Every day IS a NEW adventure for 94 year old Helene Soltero…
By Karen Soltero
At 94 years old, Helene Soltero is not only alive, she’s thriving. In a youth-centric society, where people over a certain age are often disregarded, ignored or even abandoned, she’s proof-positive that life quite simply doesn’t end when we think it does.
“Nobody’s too old to try anything they want to do,” she says, simply. Helene took up tap dancing for the first time at 77. About a year ago, she started taking Zoomba classes. These days, she keeps up with a busy schedule, playing poker and bridge, working out and competing in a Wii bowling league at a Senior Facility in Dallas, where she’s been a resident for the past eighteen months, following the death of her husband, Albert in 2010.
Senior Living Centers and people like Helene are going a long way in making a difference in the idea that members of our older generation no longer want to “have a life.”
In other cultures and countries, elders are both respected and cared for by younger generations. Here in the U.S., elder care is often seen as a burden. But these men and women are the guardians of our past, the keepers and tellers of the stories of a changing world.
Born in 1917, Helene lived through two World Wars, waited while her husband served for years at a time overseas, raising children and keeping the home.
With almost a century under her belt, she’s seen the evolution of the modern home, been in-step with the advancements in technology and is in a unique position to appreciate the ease of using her MacBook Air to send emails.
Dustin Allen, head of the wellness department at the senior living facility where Helene resides, tells us that Helene is an inspiration for other residents, including those younger than her. She often can be found encouraging her neighbors to try new things, to get out and move and most importantly, to keep having fun. She says that’s what she’s done all her life and that’s what her husband would want her to continue to do.