UMD students, residents of The Cedars, travel on wings of memories

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DARTMOUTH – Residents of The Cedars Assisted Living traveled around the world – without ever leaving home – courtesy of three UMass Dartmouth students.

Here's what unfolded, as shared in a news release:

Students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recently completed a semester-long psychology research project that took senior citizens on a trip around the world, through their memories.

Three juniors, in collaboration with the marketing and activities department at The Cedars, spent 20 hours of service engaging elderly residents in a research survey focusing on their recollections of travel.

The Cedars' residents spent time with students, answering questions, telling their stories and remembering.

Some residents described their honeymoons in Europe; others recalled their military service in the Army and Navy during World War II. At the conclusion of their research, students presented their findings to The Cedars' residents and staff, documenting the various places where residents had traveled on a large map of the world.

The map, which showcases a number of varying destinations, remains in the community's activity room, stimulating discussions among participants and other residents, a Cedars spokesman said.

The project – titled “Cedar Residents Travel Memories” – not only served as a research opportunity for the psychology students but also functioned as a meaningful and beneficial activity for residents, providing them with the opportunity to engage with young people.

Jennifer Gelinas, program coordinator at The Cedars Assisted Living, said the project “encouraged inter-generational communication, which is something that our residents look forward to and cherish. The residents who participated loved sharing their travel memories and visiting with the young volunteers. This was a wonderful experience for all involved and we look forward to collaborating with the college again in the future.”

UMass Dartmouth students enrolled in the college's nursing program also have the opportunity to volunteer at The Cedars. Through a separate initiative, nursing student gain experience in the fields of gerontology and assisted care management and build relationships with residents by coordinating activities and working in the center's country store, a spokesman said.

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