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Seniors Helping Seniors

This past Tuesday, The Watermark at Rosewood Gardens was thrilled to host its first ever Inventors Fair.

Billed as “Seniors helping Seniors” This collaboration with the Green Engineering Program at Livermore High School has been a semester long project for both the 4th year students at the school and our residents here at Rosewood. The challenge was posed – Get to know one another over the semester and each team of students was to “invent” something that would make life better in some way for senior citizens.

Every other week since the beginning of the semester the students have come to visit their resident teams and discuss all of the many challenges people face as we age. Students were enlightened and engrossed as they learned the histories of many of our residents. They asked questions and were able to get a really clear picture of what life in assisted living and in memory care can be like. Many of the students were surprised they said, to find such positive and happy people.

For residents, it was an opportunity to share their abundance of knowledge and life experience and to truly feel heard. We are blessed to have several retired teachers and also a group of Livermore High School alumni as our residents. The pairing of our seniors with the seniors from the Green Engineering program was simply wonderful.

The culmination of all of this energy took place here on Tuesday as the inventions were unveiled for the first time for our community, the schools Principal and Vice Principal as well as other family and community members. We were all completely blown away. Green Engineering teacher Sue Johnston was very proud as were we at the extraordinary level of understanding that came from students based on their conversations with our residents. A group of three impartial volunteer judges had the final word on the winners.

Some of the fifteen inventions included:

  • A device to wash the outside of a window from the inside by using a magnet.
  • An mp3 player case specially designed for persons with dementia in a way that is easy to recognize, hold onto and not lose.
  • A set of “Disability Indicators” for an individual’s front door, to indicate to first responders the special needs of a resident.
  • A combination walker shopping cart that was comfortable to use, attractive and practical.
  • The first place winner was a set of dashboard indicator lights that connected to the pedals in a standard automobile with the goal of preventing pedal confusion and potentially saving lives.

In all, over 45 students participated in this competition. The whole experience was a great joy and we can’t wait until 2016 when we get to do it all over again.

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