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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Caught in the ACT: Adopt-a-Grandparent program directors talk about their experiences

<opt-a-Grandparent is an ACT program dedicated to visiting residents at the Three Links nursing home here in Northfield. Every week approximately 15 volunteers go and visit their “grandparents.” Playing cards and chatting is a great way for both the residents and the students to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes we have special events that give all the volunteers and grandparents a chance to get together and meet one another, ranging from spring luncheons to a capella concerts. As Program Directors (PDs), we have all taken a lot away from this program and we want to tell you a little bit about our individual experiences and future plans!

Monica – I heard about Adopt-a-Grandparent during New Student Week.  I had been involved at the assisted living home near my high school, and knew that I wanted to get involved with the elderly community in Northfield.  For the first three years of Carleton I visited with an amazing grandmother who had grown up in the area and had tons of great stories to share.  Unfortunately she passed away during my junior year and I have been meeting with various other residents since.  I am sad to be leaving Three Links and Northfield, but hope to get involved with a local nursing home in Vermont next year once I begin my job as a collections fellow there!

Kelsey – For my first two years with the program, I visited with Jacob and Linda, a couple from Germany who moved to Minnesota after WWII. They both had amazing stories and good advice to share. My favorite was from Linda: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” They really do know best. I continue to visit with Linda, and will be very sad to leave her next year, although I do hope to see her since my family lives close by. I will be living in Spain this coming year as a Teaching Assistant with the Fulbright Fellowship Program and while there I really hope to become involved in the elderly community there.

Heidi – In high school I used to work at a nursing home, so when I heard about Adopt-a-Grandparent through friends who were already involved in the program, I was excited to join. My grandmother and I were matched because we are both Norwegian, and we’ve become good friends since then. She has a great sense of humor and we’ve both enjoyed speaking Norwegian with one another. I hope to get involved in volunteering with geriatric patients when I begin medical school in the fall, either at the University of Minnesota or in Norway. If I stay in Minneapolis I hope to still be able to visit Lois for special occasions!

We are glad to see that the program has grown so much since we arrived and will continue to grow with our new PDs next year. We have a great group of volunteers, and we’re always looking for more.

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