Although their campaign has concluded, if you would still like to make a donation to Ageless Wisdom, you may always do so here.
We are raising support to enable the Ageless Wisdom program at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work to become sustainable and independently financed, allowing us to continue to offer the program at no cost to participants. Please consider helping us reach our goal today!
Seventy-five percent of social workers will work with older adults in their careers. Yet, only twenty percent are trained in gerontology. In order to be prepared to competently enter the workforce, all social work students need to be oriented to the effects and challenges of aging.
Over a three-hour training session, the Ageless Wisdom program--designed by The Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services--outlines the physical and emotional changes that accompany aging by having the participants experience them. Specially made glasses obscure vision, mimicking the conditions caused by cataracts, glaucoma, and tunnel vision. Weights, bandages, and tape limit mobility, demonstrating the toll diseases like arthritis take on the body. By performing daily tasks with difficulty, students feel the frustrations associated with these life changes.
Experience is knowledge; help us sustain this program and provide this learning experience for future students!
Each presentation to an average of 25 students uses:
- One bin of reusable props such as glasses, slings, weights and wraps ($500)
- Packages of single-use supplies such as food products and gloves ($30)
- 5-6 hours of staff time to organize and buy supplies and present the program
Funding for this project will allow us to build up a stock of reusable props, purchase more single-use supplies, and continue to offer this training to TEN MSW and BASW CLASSES reaching over 250 students a year at no cost!
Who We Are
The Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education (HPPAE) is a School of Social Work fellowship program for MSW and BSW students that focuses on teaching and producing social work students expert in working with older adults from those who are well to those who are at the end of life.
Every year, our HPPAE students are trained to become certified Ageless Wisdom providers. Working with certified faculty, the HPPAE fellows take this program into classrooms where they present it to undergraduate and Master's-level Social Work students.
Over the past two years, 500 students have experienced Ageless Wisdom filling a necessary educational and experiential gap for the large majority who would have otherwise had no exposure or understanding of issues relating to aging.
Please consider donating to help make this program sustainable and independently financed so that it may continue to address this gap and better the education of our students and the lives of their clients
About Ageless Wisdom
Immediately after I had the Ageless Wisdom training, I called my mom to apologize for being so impatient with her!
--Ray Engel, HPPAE Principal Investigator
Ageless Wisdom is a fun and engaging experiential aging sensitivity training program designed by The Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh. Ageless Wisdom challenges participants to address their biases and misconceptions about older adults and to reflect upon their own beliefs about aging.
The program’s objective is help participants to understand the physical, emotional and social changes that occur as a person ages by experiencing them firsthand. By wearing different eyeglasses, the audience experiences how vision changes could affect an older person’s ability to perform normal daily activities. The participants take a simulated hearing loss “test” to understand how life of an older person can be affected by loss of hearing. Changes in smell, taste and touch are also demonstrated through a variety of exercises.
The program also addresses changes in cognition, psychological changes, functional changes and social changes that people experience as they age. Overall, the goal of Ageless Wisdom is to challenge participants to address their biases and misconceptions about the older adult population and to reflect upon their own beliefs about aging.
Students expressed an increase in empathy and understanding toward older adults, both with family members and clients.... This type of learning is so much more valuable than textbook learning.
--Rachel Fusco, MSW, PhD Associate Professor
Thanks for taking this opportunity to donate now and help sustain this program.
Special thanks to Samantha G. Levinson for creating the Ageless Wisdom video.