What do 20-year-old university students and 90-year-old seniors have in common? As it turns out, more than either of them thought.
Nearly 50 students in a third-year Brock University Leisure and Aging course have had a unique experiential learning opportunity as they spent the past three months working with aging adults at Radiant Care Tabor Manor in St. Catharines.
Recreation and Leisure Studies Associate Professor Colleen Whyte teaches students in her RECL 3P12 every Monday morning at the long-term care home. They spend an hour in a makeshift classroom at the facility and then another hour working one-on-one with residents.
“Many students come in saying, generationally, we’re just so different and we’re not going to have a lot in common,” Whyte said. “But they meet with these older adults who have grandchildren their age and they’re asking about television shows like Stranger Things. The course is building those connections and breaking down barriers.”
With the Winter Term coming to a close, the Leisure and Aging students will wrap up their time at Tabor Manor on Monday, April 2 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. when they present ‘Life Stories,’ a collection of short, photo-based biographical books they’ve produced about the lives of the older adults they’ve come to know.
The 12-page Life Story books have been produced for 100 Tabor Manor residents, many of whom are dealing with memory loss and will have the books in their rooms as a way to help stimulate conversation and memories as visitors come and go.
Monday’s event will bring together the students, residents and their families, as the books are presented.
“It’s anticipated that these books will be a valuable resource and keepsake for residents and their families,” said Radiant Care CEO Tim Siemens. “Students used their skills as recreationists and their skills of engagement and communication to elicit the personalities, stories and memories of the residents they partnered with.”
What: Presentation of ‘Life Stories’ by Brock RECL 3P12 students
When: Monday, April 2, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Radiant Care Tabor Manor — Great Room, 7 Tabor Dr., St. Catharines
Parking: Available next door at Scott Street Church