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USC Gerontology Students Participate in 'Aging Sensitivity Training' Provided by SCAN Health Plan
Date:8/24/2009

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Gerontology students at University of Southern California had an opportunity to "become senior citizens" on Friday thanks to Trading Ages(TM), an interactive senior sensitivity training program sponsored by SCAN Health Plan. The award-winning program is a workshop that provides participants the opportunity to literally "walk in the shoes of a senior" through a series of hands-on exercises and sensory perception education.

Participants included approximately 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Some were younger adults with little work experience, while others were much further along in their careers with many years of experience.

"This was an invaluable opportunity for students at all levels to experience the common physical and emotional challenges that are a part of the aging process," said Assistant Dean Maria Henke. "We are proud of the solid training ground we provide to future gerontologists and given SCAN Health Plan's strong background in serving and meeting the needs of seniors, this was an ideal pairing."

According to Sherry Stanislaw, senior vice president of the nonprofit SCAN Health Plan, who created the Trading Ages(TM) program, participants are often surprised by how they react to certain physical limitations that are mimicked during the program, and many have commented on what an eye-opening experience it is.

To mimic the difficulties experienced with arthritis, for example, program participants were asked to don heavy, clumsy gloves and then button their shirts or open medication bottles and handle small pills. Participants also put popcorn in their shoes and walked around to simulate the feeling of painful joints. Others strapped their arm to their side to see how limiting it can be to deal with the effects of a stroke.

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SOURCE SCAN Health Plan
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