Written by: Jordan Sternfeld
Major: Occupational Therapy
My favorite thing to do is travel. One of my first travel memories was going on an “airplane ride” at three years old to visit my great-grandmother in Arizona. We went swimming, saw the mountains, and ate ice cream together. My great-grandmother and I were very close, as she lived until I was 20 years old. Her favorite stories to tell me were about her travel adventures with my great-grandfather. They traveled to 6 of the 7 continents together (she didn’t have interest in Antarctica) and had all of the artwork displayed around their home to prove it. I believe that her travel experiences impacted her cultured and respectful views of all people within society which I admire and try to emulate. During my great-grandmother’s last summer, I attended various doctor’s appointments and community outings with her. I remember her telling me that I should study abroad but understood that I did not want to miss a whole semester on campus.
Going on the “International Perspective of Older Adults” study abroad program as a graduate student combines my interests of traveling, working with the geriatric population, and the medical field. To prepare for the trip, our leaders proposed an assignment that had us interview a geriatric member of our community. When interviewing a 78-year-old male in Kalamazoo County who suffered a stroke, he and I discussed his quality of life in terms of physical, emotional/cognitive, and social realms. Due to a great rehabilitation team, his physical health has almost returned to normal. He and his wife are also active members at events in at their local community center, where they go for activities and meals. I look forward to learning about the opportunities available for seniors in Ireland, in both city and rural areas, to compare and contrast what I know about seniors in the United States.
Categories: Family, Ireland, Take Off