Posted .February 10, 2016
There are some things that most people would not think pair well together. Dogs and cats, French fries and pickle juice, senior citizens and college kids. However, a program in Cleveland is proving that although dogs and cats may never get along, and pickle juice should never come close to a delicious French fry, that college students and nursing home resident can actually be quite a match.
Judson Senior Living Center began accepting new applications back in 2010, and the people that moved in didn’t have a single gray hair. They came from the Cleveland Institute of Music. They were college kids, twenty something year old students who, in exchange for free living accommodations, built real friendships and relationships with the residents of the living center. The students put on concerts for the residents who share their love of music, and the residents share their art lessons and cooking lessons, all while giving helpful tips and bits of wisdom along the way. Both the students and the seniors benefit greatly from the closing of the generational gap, and both have a lot to learn from the other.
Recently, Judson Senior Living Center has extended to allow students from the Cleveland Institute of Art to live on campus and participate in the program. Hopefully more programs like this will pop up around the country and bridge the gap between eager college kids ready to spread their wings and fly, and seniors who have “been there, done that” and have plenty of wisdom and experiences to share.