Bridging Generations: Older Adults Open Campus Day at McMaster
Written by Amna Zaidi (student RA, 4th year Hons Health and Society) on behalf of the Gilbrea Centre This event was possible thanks to the funding allocated by the McMaster Okanagan Office of Health and Well-Being and organized by the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging and McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA).
On the morning of September 15, 2023, McMaster students and older adults from Hamilton got together for the ‘Older Adult Open Campus Day’ at McMaster and explored various interactive sites around our University’s Campus. This event was made possible through the funding allocated by the McMaster Okanagan Office of Health and Well-Being and organized in partnership by the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging and McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) with the help of many amazing campus partners to show case the different opportunities McMaster campus has to offer.
Throughout the day, students and older adults were able to participate in tours of popular destinations around the campus, such as the McMaster Planetarium, the McMaster Museum of Art, the McMaster Greenhouse, the McMaster Engineering Faculty, and campus’ nature trails and libraries. All of these locations had an interactive element to them, and the attendees were able to gain fruitful experiences and possibly learn something new while visiting.
Most importantly, the event fostered an intergenerational environment. Students and older adults were provided with ample opportunities to interact with each other. One student volunteer shared “I love learning things about aging in Hamilton, and this was such a fun way to get to meet older adults”. They were able to share life experiences, their likes and dislikes, and their opinions on the sites they visited together. And by being in an intergenerational environment, all attendees were able to interact with new faces from generations they may not get the chance to interact with otherwise.
Overall, this event was exciting and enjoyable, and possibly a new experience for many of the attendees, and we hope to have this event again next year! We would once again like to thank the McMaster Okanagan Office of Health and Well-Being for funding this event.