WEST LIBERTY – The International Council on Active Aging® selected Green Hills Community’s Techy Teens-Savvy Seniors program as a recipient of its 2016 Innovators Achievement Award, which recognizing those making a difference in the lives of older adults.
“A couple of years ago, I approached Katie Rychner, a DECA teacher at Bellefontaine High School, about offering a “reverse mentoring” program to our residents that would have students help them understand technology better,” said Nita Wilkinson, Director of Advancement at Green Hills Community. “We met a couple of times over the summer to plan it and started it in October of 2015. The DECA kids came up with the name. It was initially a once a month program that paired up two teens with a senior (or couple) to answer their individual questions about their own technology.
“It quickly became a wonderful inter-generational program that both parties couldn’t wait to do each month,” Wilkinson said. “The kids taught the seniors to do the whip and the nae nae. They did craft projects together and the seniors attended a basketball game and pizza party. They formed relationships that were lasting. Some residents even went to graduation and graduation parties.”
The Achievement Award category showcases programs and concepts that advance active aging. Eligible offerings can target any or all of seven wellness dimensions – social, emotional, vocational, spiritual, intellectual, physical and environmental. Winning entries also highlight people’s potential to live well at any age.
“It is an incredible honor to receive this prestigious award that honors creativity in aging services,” said Green Hills CEO Mike Ray. “Green Hills Community has been an advocate for active aging for 41 years and continues to find new ways to celebrate the experience and knowledge of our residents and all that they continue to offer our community. We are blessed with an amazing community support that allows us to offer many choices to older adults in Logan and Champaign counties.”