After posting my review of Dr. Rubin's 60 On Up: the Truth About Aging in America, I received a google-alert and went to Seniors World Chronicle, edited by Ravissant, where he had posted my review. Ravissant's blog is a look at all sides of the world of elders: informative, inspiring, innovative; there are daily articles gathered from across the globe that are of interest to the "60 on up" generation.
Since I spend a fair amount of time at The Cottage (where my father stays in an Alzheimer's unit modeled after the Johns Hopkins' Green House Model), I see how much these individuals enjoy and appreciate people who seem interested in them. One of my father's joys right now is the interest that an occupational therapist intern has shown in him. And believe me, this young man has gone way beyond the call of his internship.
This article, which was originally published in the Los Angeles Times and which Ravissant picked up, describes how gerontology students at the University of Southern California live in Kingsley Manor, a home which cares for the elderly.What a great idea! Learn and serve at the same time. The students provide 16 hours a week in volunteer services (teaching tai chi, helping with activities), and in return, get a free room and meals close to campus. Since Kingsley Manor is not, as The Cottages where my father resides, dedicated to dementia patients, the elders at this home benefit even more from the presence of the students...and the students benefit from real relationships with the segment of the population they eventually hope to serve. This is the kind of program that I think Lillian Rubin wants people to consider when thinking about ideas and policies that will improve the situation for the elderly.
Thanks, Ravissant, for providing a source of interesting, informative, and helpful articles!