Jay Copp 2017-08-09 05:23:12
Earlier in the day a resident eagerly pulled aside Erin Scott, a staff member at the senior home, and asked, “Tonight’s the night the kids are coming, right?” This time the students at Michigan State University came with Nerf guns, balloons and soft paddles. They hung red cups for the seniors to take aim at with the guns and supervised games of balloon badminton. Many of the seniors at the Brookdale Meridian facility near the campus grapple with memory loss or daunting physical ailments. So how did the activities go over? “Oh, my word, they loved it,” says Scott. “One resident who is further along with dementia— I had never seen him participate so much in an activity.” The students belong to the MSU Campus Lions Club, chartered in 2015. Visiting the home every other week is one of several dozen projects of the highly active, 66-member club. The Lions mix it up with the seniors, providing a wide variety of activities: bingo, games and even science experiments. They present the seniors with gifts such as flowers and T-shirts. “Usually they’re not really active. It’s easy for them to be secluded. They can feel isolated,” says President Patty Costello. “We give them companionship. We engage them in activities.” The students are ordinarily far removed from the concerns and challenges of the elderly. Yet they often are close to their grandparents and, in any case, are quick to bond with the seniors at the home. “It’s my favorite event,” says Costello, a special education major. “They are such sweet people. It’s such a simple thing we do. We hang out with them for two hours. That’s all they ask of us: to be with them.” “It’s my favorite event. They are such sweet people. It’s such a simple thing we do. We hang out with them for two hours. That’s all they ask of us: to be with them.”
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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