James Madison University

Caregivers Community Network is awarded Geriatric Training and Education Grant

Virginia Center on Aging, under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Virginia, has allocated the sum of: $20,000 to: James Madison University
for execution of the project titled: The Life of a Caregiver Simulation Project under the direction of: Merle. Mast

This project will create a simulation that allows students to “walk in the shoes” of a caregiver and to experience firsthand the emotional, physical, social, and financial challenges of caregiving.  Within the safety of a simulated environment students will make choices about caring for an aging relative, and utilize the complex and sometimes poorly coordinated network of health and human services that caregivers and their families must navigate. Within these real-life scenarios, students will choose from a variety of next-steps and problem-solving options.  This active, engaged form of learning is a powerful way to enhance student understanding of issues of aging, caregiving, and available community services.  Students will immediately apply what they learned to their visits with families. This experience will inform their career choices in health and human service professions. The project will serve to strengthen CCN’s ability to simultaneously meet the needs of three groups—caregivers in need of respite, frail care recipients who benefit from fresh ideas and the stimulation of contact with enthusiastic young people, and students in need of intergenerational, “hands-on” learning experiences.