New Years Vision Board Session at Ring House
A group of 25 student volunteers and residents met at Ring House on January 7 to talk about setting goals and create vision boards for 2018. One resident expressed the importance of looking toward the future “now more than ever” and urged us all to focus on the “usage of time rather than the passage of time.” Themes included learning new technology, trying new hobbies, socializing with friends, and moving for physical fitness. Another resident told her kids not to visit that day so she wouldn’t have to miss the Link Generations program. She loves talking to teens who “make her feel young again.
Link Generations Research Outcomes
Statements by participants during the intergenerational discussions show that older adults feel a sense of purpose from these interactions.
“The program is about sharing experiences of different ages and from different cultures. That’s how people learn to understand each other. We need that, especially today.”
“I love coming here. Talking to teens makes me feel young again.”
Statements from student volunteers demonstrate improved attitudes toward older adults and increased comfort in working with them.
“We have a lot in common,” said one student. A resident talked about coming to this country because of war. She felt abandoned and alone. “I can relate to this.”
“We all felt nervous and awkward the first day. Over time it got better.”
Initial survey data demonstrates improvement in young people’s attitudes toward aging and comfort in working with older adults. Student participants who completed pre-and post-survey data reported increased comfort in spending time with older adults after the program. They were also more likely to disagree with the statements: most older people are alike; and as people grow older, their intelligence declines.
Club Connections: Upcoming Events and Programs
In February, the Link Generations Gaithersburg High School Club is planning an event with the National Science Honor Society at Ingleside at King Farm. Students from the North Star Academy will also return to Ingleside for a program in February.
Ingleside residents have requested more programming with teens from local high schools, and are looking forward to a second Summer Storytelling Series in 2018.
In other summer news, Charles E. Smith Life Communities is recruiting student volunteers for an Opening Minds through Art (OMA) Program July-August 2018 at Ring House. OMA is an award-winning, nationally recognized art-making program for people with memory loss. The program was developed at Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center in Ohio. It is designed to promote the joy, social interaction and accomplishment of people with dementia through small-group sessions where each older adult is paired with a volunteer-partner.