[The current posts are written by students in Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts. Partnering with U-M Geriatric Centers, Mild Memory Loss, Silver Club Programs, students have been paired with community members to create together.]
I came into this class with very little experience in working with older adults, let alone older adults with memory loss. I had a small sense of what to expect, but couldn’t have imagined it would be such a fun and exciting experience
I was given the opportunity to work with a community member who was extremely outgoing. Her energy and excitement lit up the room and gave our meetings a sense of ease. We were lucky to be partnered with another community member/student pair, with whom we would work.
The four of us would sit together each week. As we exchanged stories and worked on projects, there would be a constant air of laughter and jokes. It felt as though we had all been old friends. At the end of each session, we would play cards for a while. This was something we could all do that allowed a sense of comfort and normalcy – nobody felt as though they weren’t skilled enough to do the task. The slight competition was something everyone enjoyed and became the basis for a lot of jokes that were made. It was over these card games that I heard the most stories from our community members pasts and felt most comfortable with them.
The highlight moment of the semester came at the very end of our last meeting session. We ended it in a large group where we were informed we would be having an impromptu dance party. One of the community members I had been working with all semester asked me to dance with him, an offer I’d never decline. As we danced, he spun me around and we sang Blue-Sued Shoes together. I guarantee we had smiles plastered on our face, it was the perfect way to conclude our semester together.
~ Bri Broderick, Junior, Art & Design and Cognitive Science