Students from Rutgers, including four from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences who are pursuing careers as physical therapists, doctors, occupational therapists and nurse practitioners specializing in the aging community, hosted an intergenerational event for Springpoint Senior Living residents at the Loree Gymnasium on the Douglass Campus on April 13.
Susan Kaplowitz, professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, along with 25 of her students, welcomed 30 residents from Monroe Village and Meadow Lakes, both Springpoint Senior Living continuing care retirement communities, for a fun-filled afternoon of physical, mental and creative exercises.
The seniors participated in activities designed by the students, including interactive stations with fitness testing, creative arts, balancing activities, memory games, sport games: Wii bowling, water pong and corn-hole. Tactile exercises using everyday household items included towels, chairs, sand-filled water bottles and rubber bands to stretch and strengthen hand muscles.
“Springpoint community members were able to facilitate experiential learning for students at the Rutgers campus,” said Stacey Judge, Springpoint Community Wellness Program Director. “As the population overall is aging—with a big boom expected in the 70 and older age bracket over the next 15 years—studying healthy aging and lifestyle becomes critical for those entering health and wellness professions.”
“This is an excellent intergenerational program where together we take an active part in helping educate the next generation of health and wellness professionals to enhance the quality of life among older adults,” said Kaplowitz. “Students and residents enjoy interacting with each other; it’s a win-win situation for all involved.”
The Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies at Rutgers consists of numerous courses that address the benefits of exercise and its effects on the human body. One of the courses that the department offers is titled Exercise and Aging. Springpoint Senior Living offers internship opportunities for Rutgers Exercise Science Majors as well as other health and wellness professions.
Springpoint Senior Living is New Jersey’s largest non-profit provider of housing and services for seniors, with six continuing care retirement communities, 18 affordable housing communities and home care services. For more information, visit www.springpointsl.org.