Seniors just need to have fun

MATTHEWS – David Gwilt has always had a heart for senior citizens.

David Gwilt with Miss Avante Nursing Home 2013 Martha Dover at one of the senior citizens’ programs he hosts.

David Gwilt with Miss Avante Nursing Home 2013 Martha Dover at one of the senior citizens’ programs he hosts.

Gwilt founded Radio 4 the Ages, a weekly AM/FM talk show for senior citizens, two years ago. Numerous opportunities have opened since then, giving him the chance to work with the aging population through health fairs and education on a wide variety of relative topics.

But Gwilt wants to encourage senior citizens to learn something else – how to have fun. That’s why he’s partnering with AARP, Carolinas Dental Center, Regency Retirement Village and Brookdale Senior Living to host Day 4 the Ages, a “free and fun event” geared toward senior citizens.

A Day 4 the Ages will take place Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Providence United Methodist Church, 2810 Providence Road in Charlotte. The event features free breakfast and lunch, as well as a plethora of activities to encourage senior citizens to laugh, fellowship and have fun together.

“I want to do just a fun day for seniors,” Gwilt said. “Let’s just have fun.”

Gwilt will give a motivational presentation focused on how to keep dreams alive and create new ones. He’s designed an acronym – PLEASE – highlighting six areas he believes senior citizens can benefit from: prayer, laughter, exercise, attitude, service and every day.

“It’s all about not looking at your limitations, but looking at your possibilities,” Gwilt said.

Seniors will learn about AARP’s latest initiatives for the Charlotte area from Michael Olender, of the retired people’s organization, as well as how to meditate “for peace, serenity and a good night’s sleep.” Dr. Christopher Phelps, of Carolinas Dental Center in Matthews, also will give a presentation on “how to keep your smile.”

Although part of the event is educational, Gwilt said the goal for A Day 4 the Ages was to encourage senior citizens to learn while simultaneously having fun in a way they typically can’t at a standard health fair.

“This is a fun fair; we try to tie that into the (presentations),” Gwilt said. He added, “Dr. Phelps … is user friendly, he’s funny and he speaks to the community a lot in the Matthews area.”

Senior citizens who attend A Day 4 the Ages also will have a chance to see their peers on stage, as local drama teacher Wrenn Goodrum hosts an acting class filled with “humorous skits.” Goodrum recently directed the stage play “Love Letters,” a show geared toward senior citizens, at Fullwood Theater in conjunction with Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts.

“Wrenn loves working with seniors. This should be just a nice, fun time for people – no high pressure,” Gwilt said.

When he’s not organizing special events for senior citizens, Gwilt focuses his time on his weekly talk show, Radio 4 the Ages which began airing on Sunday mornings on WBCN, 1660-AM.

Radio 4 the Ages now airs on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon via WRHI, 94.3-FM and 1340-AM, out of Rock Hill, S.C. The Saturday spot gives more listeners a chance to tune in, Gwilt said, and the shows are streamed live online at www.rad

Gwilt has featured a number of guests talking about a variety of topics since the show began. Guests have included an individual diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease speaking about her experience, experts discussing in home care, smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in homes, financial assistance and elderly abuse.

“What we’re doing is so topical and so current,” Gwilt said. “And there’s also some entertainment. God has blessed me with enough wit that we can find at least some humor in almost every topic.”

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