ON THE ELDERLY & COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY.
(Mt. Vernon, NY - May 22, 2012) The Wartburg’s reputation for being an innovator in caring for the elderly was never more evident than when the BBC visited the beautiful 34-acre campus in Mt. Vernon with their film crew to produce a story on “the elderly and computer technology” with The Wartburg senior residents – and students - as the subjects of the film.
As Wartburg President & CEO, David Gentner explained, “This is an integral component of our Council for the Creative Aging program which identifies the real needs of our senior residents, and provides solutions for a better quality of life through exciting instructional classes dealing with a variety of art disciplines. Learning about computers and having the ability to communicate with their grandchildren and friends are some of the wonderful achievements that have been derived from this association with Pace University’s faculty and students.”
This unique Pace University gerontechnology program allows its undergraduate students to provide older adults with basic computing skills. In this case, The Wartburg senior residents were taught how to use iPads (donated by Verizon), as well as two touchscreen computers (donated by Telikin). The program objectives include improving the quality of life emotionally, cognitively, and socially of the older adult participants. These elderly residents achieve a greater sense of well being and self-worth, a more positive outlook on life, increased cognitive functioning, decreased levels of depression, and reduced social isolation.
This multi-disciplinary course has a service-learning component. Undergraduate students learn about both the process of aging, as well as, computing technology while the older adults benefit from an individualized and non-threatening learning environment. The project goes beyond simply having students volunteer to help the elderly.
Ann Frey, Director of Volunteers at The Wartburg, added, “We embrace this magnificent undertaking and are honored to have been chosen by Pace University to be a part of this innovative program. It is part of our mission to continually strive to find new and innovative ways to fulfill the lives of our elderly.”
Among those present at the filming were Dr. Jean Coppola, Associate Professor of Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems; Dr. Sandra Flank of Pace University’s School of Education; Barbara Thomas, Professor of Nursing at Westchester Community College, and Karen Yancopoulos, BSN, RN, both nurse and educator.
In addition to Ann Frey, The Wartburg was represented by Speech Pathologist, Michelle Garcia, and AmeriCorp Volunteer for Wartburg’s Council for the Creative Aging, Reissa Ress.
ABOUT THE WARTBURG:
The Wartburg is a recent 2012 recipient of Innovation of the Year Award presented by Leading Age New York, as well as being a Leadership Speaker for the “Lifelong Learning Through Creative Aging” Workshop at the 2012 Aging in America Conference. And, for the second consecutive year, it has been named by US News & World Report as one of the Top Nursing Homes in New York State.
Photo #1: Volunteer with Wartburg Resident