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VMRC Residents and JMU Students Connect over Group Methods Class

December 22, 2020
Categories: Our Community

Intergenerational connection is an integral part of the VMRC experience for many residents. Through partnerships with area youth programs, schools and universities residents are able to engage with a variety of ages in a variety of ways.

This fall, a small group of residents participated in a Group Methods class with James Madison University senior social work students. The residents and two JMU student facilitators met via Zoom over six sessions. For the students, it was an opportunity to gain knowledge on group theory and dynamics while also interacting with the older adult population. As the U.S. population ages, gerontological social work is a growing sector in the social work field and having this hands on experience may inform career choices for students down the road. For resident participants, it was an opportunity to engage in a covid-safe way and share their perspectives, expertise, experience and wisdom.

Each session focused on a different topic including connecting with grandchildren during COVID and discussing the most influential person in their lives. Resident participant Mary Ellen Lyons said of the program, “It was an interesting experience and I was surprised to note the commonalities between residents and the students.”

VMRC is appreciative of all of the groups we partner with and for the creativity during this time of physical distancing to find meaningful ways to connect even when it cannot be done in person.

Pictured Above: Resident Mary Ellen Lyons participates in the final Group Methods session with JMU social work students. 

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“The response from the VMRC community of staff and residents has been quite welcoming.  We've enjoyed meeting friends old and new which has been very enriching.”

- New VMRC Resident, 2018