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Twelve Going on 70: SCAN Health Plan Arizona Helps 7th and 8th Graders Understand Aging With Senior Sensitivity Training
Date:9/23/2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventh and eighth graders at the Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center (ANLC) in Scottsdale today experienced firsthand some of the challenges that come with aging. Through "Trading Ages," an innovative senior sensitivity program sponsored by the not-for-profit SCAN Health Plan Arizona, the students participated in a series of hands-on exercises intended to demonstrate the physical challenges facing seniors.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090923/LA81071)

SCAN's unique senior sensitivity program is designed to educate a younger generation of Americans about the diverse needs of older adults and to nurture an understanding, appreciation and compassion for the seniors in their lives. The program at ANLC represents the first time SCAN Health Plan Arizona has offered this program within a school. "We hope to expand this educational program to reach school-children throughout Maricopa County," said Tom Lescault, president of SCAN Health Plan Arizona.

SCAN facilitators Susan Cypert and Karen Richards led the children in a host of creative exercises to mimic the challenges facing seniors. Foot ailments were simulated with popcorn placed in their shoes, hearing loss through distorted recordings, vision changes through special glasses fitted with blurred lenses, and loss of dexterity with special gloves that limit mobility in their hands and fingers.

"Trading Ages(TM) ties in perfectly with the students' social studies curriculum as well as our philosophy at ANLC," said Taylor Jones, assistant principal. "We are grateful to SCAN for bringing this worthwhile program to our students. It's important that people of all ages begin to better understand the aging process and recognize that growing older is just another part of life's experience."

SCAN has been providing an expanded version of Trading Ages(TM) to its employees for many years to ensure they better understand the needs and mindset of health plan members. The program has also been offered to SCAN providers, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and other community organizations. SCAN just recently began offering a modified version of the program to school audiences.

"As seniors represent a greater portion of our society, this type of education is more important than ever," said Lescault. "As a health plan focused on the unique needs of seniors, we are providing this program so that the younger generation can better relate to their older family members and other seniors in their community."

About SCAN Health Plan

For more than 30 years, SCAN Health Plan has been focusing on the unique needs of people with Medicare and today is the fourth-largest nonprofit Medicare Advantage Plan in the United States. The company currently serves 110,000 members in Southern California and in 2010 will be expanding into Northern California. In Arizona it offers a Medicare Advantage Plan in Maricopa County. Further information may be obtained at scanhealthplan.com.


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SOURCE SCAN Health Plan Arizona
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