Lincoln-Hubbard students at SAGE

About 60 fifth graders from Summit’s Lincoln-Hubbard Elementary School participated in sensitivity training at SAGE Eldercare. The program is designed to help the students understand what it is like to age and gives them an opportunity to interact with older adults who attend SAGE’s Spend-A-Day program. As part of the eighth annual intergenerational program, the students also provided a generous donation to the food pantry at SAGE.

 

Students were given activities to complete with glasses that simulated a variety of vision problems and rubber gloves with cotton inside the fingertips that simulated arthritis or polyneuropathy symptoms.  The children quickly learned that it is hard to write, use buttons, and feel items, and that it was also hard to see what they were trying to do with the “special glasses” on. 

 

Another task was for some of the students to cover their ears while others spoke quietly to them showing them what having a hearing loss might be like. They also breathed through straws to demonstrate asthma and a reduced lung capacity that can sometimes occur with the aging process.

 

Marianne Kranz, SAGE Eldercare’s Director of Volunteers, talked to the students about how aging might impact the sort of activities that they do now such as playing sports, reading, and enjoying video games.  The students were also encouraged to “stay healthy and active, eat right, and take care of themselves” so that they could age gracefully.

 

In addition to the sensitivity training, the students also interacted with participants in SAGE’s Spend-A-Day adult day health care center, asking them questions that they’d prepared in advance. Susan Wirth, Manager of Recreation for Spend-A-Day, discussed dementia and Alzheimer’s with the students.

 

Students reflected on what they learned during the program, including the importance of “patience, being nice and encouraging, and being empathetic” to issues that older adults might face.

 

“This is an invaluable experience because it affords our students the opportunity to grow in perspective, which is something that is so often challenged with the many distractors children face in today’s world. More importantly, it allows them to make ‘connections,’ listen and simply enjoy time spent in conversation with their new found friends at SAGE.  Making connections, listening, and building relationships are all life-skills that we believe will serve our students well as they continue into the middle school, high school, college, and beyond.  We are appreciative that SAGE Eldercare allows the Lincoln-Hubbard fifth graders to explore and nurture these skills through time spent with our senior citizens,” said Matt Carlin, Principal at Lincoln-Hubbard Elementary School.   

 

To learn more about the training, contact Marianne Kranz at 908.598.5514.  The training can be adapted to fit any age group of students or co-workers from a local organization or corporation.

 

 

About SAGE Eldercare

Since 1954, SAGE Eldercare has been helping make the communities it serves amazing places to age.  The non-profit organization provides a wide array of information, support, and services designed to help individuals lead the most independent and active lives possible.  From helping with errands and delivering Meals on Wheels, to exercise classes, community programs, Medicare counseling, care planning, an adult day health care program, and home health care, as well as the SAGE Resale Shop and Furniture Restoration Workshop, SAGE’s expertise helps older adults remain independent in their own homes.  SAGE is committed to being the leading provider of programs and services to meet the changing needs of older adults, their families, and caregivers throughout Union, Essex, Morris, and Somerset Counties.  For more information, please call 908.273.5550 or visit www.sageeldercare.org.

 

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PHOTOS:

-A SAGE Eldercare Spend-A-Day participant and a fifth grader from Summit’s Lincoln-Hubbard School became fast friends during a sensitivity training program held at SAGE. The non-profit organization, which serves older adults and their caregivers in New Jersey, provides an array of programs and services to promote independence and aging in place.  To learn more about the training, contact Marianne Kranz at 908.598.5514.  The training can be adapted to fit any age group of students or co-workers from a local organization or corporation.

Lincoln-Hubbard students at SAGE

-Fifth grade students at Lincoln-Hubbard School in Summit used altered glasses to see how difficult it might be for an older adult to read with age-related eye disease, one of the activities of a sensitivity training program held at SAGE Eldercare. The non-profit organization, which serves older adults and their caregivers in New Jersey, provides an array of programs and services to promote independence and aging in place.  To learn more about the training, contact Marianne Kranz at 908.598.5514.  The training can be adapted to fit any age group of students or co-workers from a local organization or corporation.

Lincoln-Hubbard students at SAGE

-Fifth grade students from Lincoln-Hubbard pose in the Meals on Wheels kitchen of SAGE Eldercare with a generous donation of food. The students brought the food for the SAGE pantry when they came to attend a sensitivity training program. The non-profit organization, which serves older adults and their caregivers in New Jersey, provides an array of programs and services to promote independence and aging in place.  To learn more about the training, contact Marianne Kranz at 908.598.5514.  The training can be adapted to fit any age group of students or co-workers from a local organization or corporation.

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