Application Deadline: Summer 2020
Beginning in August of 2020, a few incoming SPAUD graduate students will have the opportunity to live at two retirement facilities. Clark Retirement home at Keller Lake and St Ann’s home are both residential living facilities for older adults. This project represents a joint effort between Western Michigan University OT faculty, Clark Retirement Home, St. Ann’s Retirement Home, and the Speech Pathology and Audiology Graduate Program faculty at Calvin University. This represents a unique inter-professional opportunity for occupational therapy and speech-language therapy students.
Clark at Keller Lake is an assisted living facility housing 80 older adults with varying levels of function and is set in a picturesque wooded area on a lake. St Ann’s Home is a 5 star continuum of care on 23 acres located on the west side of Grand Rapids. Both locations are located within a 10-15 minute drive from campus. Students will have separate accommodations fully furnished with their own kitchen and bath.
A key aspect of this experience is that we encourage students to spend 30 hours per month engaging with residents for 19 months at the residence in either location. This timeframe (19 months) coincides with your academic coursework.
This initiative is modeled after successful programs both in the Netherlands and in Cleveland, Ohio, pairing university students with older adults,and was successfully implemented in 2016-2018 with graduate occupational therapy students at Clark at Keller Lake. Currently it is a successful venture with both OT graduate students from WMU and Speech Language Pathology graduate students from Calvin at Keller Lake and St. Ann’s Home. These students began the program in fall of 2018 and will end spring of 2020.
Both students and older persons benefit enormously from this partnership. Expected outcomes from the Grand Rapids project include increased understanding between generations; insight into clinical issues related to aging, especially those of a psychosocial nature; and the opportunity to develop cherished friendships with persons different from yourself. This program also has the potential to alleviate some of the financial burden that often accompanies graduate school.
Applications for this initiative will be available in the late spring/summer of 2020 for all incoming graduate students.
Please contact Jill Bates for more information.