Aging is a Life Experience

A student in Professor Andrea Scholl's NUR 353 Aging course wears glasses that simulate advanced cataracts and then is asked to perform tasks like find a number in a phone book or use a calculator.

Additional images

November 21, 2013

Ever been at the grocery store behind an older adult and roll your eyes because it takes forever to get change out their coin purse? America is getting older, our demographics are ever changing. With a burgeoning number of older Americans, NUR 353 “Aging: A Life Experience” is an elective course offered in the department of nursing that helps Bradley Students keep their edge in the workplace by making them better prepared to work with older adults.

The course is an elective open to all majors and meets an elective requirement for the Health Minor at Bradley. Students in this course explore societal attitudes about the aged, health problems, and methods of coping with growing old. More importantly according to Professor Andrea Scholl, the lead instructor for NUR 353, students gain perspective and empathy through a series of practical experiential learning modules throughout the semester.

Professor Scholl created a skills lab where students’ vision was disrupted and then students were asked to find numbers in a phone book. In another station, students put on gloves that limited joint motion an also deadened sensation and then they were asked to perform fine motor skill tasks. Through these and many other exercises throughout the semester Professor Scholl’s students now should think twice before they roll their eyes at the older adult who is taking longer to perform simple activities of daily living. Students now understand the limitations imposed upon all of us, eventually, as we age helping them to become leaders, innovators, and contributors to the well-being of all humanity.