There is a Virginia assisted living immersion project underway. I suspect many of you that follow aging news have heard about nursing home immersion programs where, typically a college student, volunteers to enter a nursing home for a certain period to live life as though they were a “regular” resident. The idea is simple – experience first hand what the experience might be like for elders that reside there 365 days a year.
It was only a matter of time before someone tried to replicate the experience only through lower levels of care, i.e. assisted living and retirement communities. Steve Gurney, a 43-year old, is doing that now as a “resident” of Paul Spring Retirement Community in Alexandria, Virginia. His focus is to try experiencing the emotions and feelings residents may feel as they transition to new housing. After this project he intends to reside in a nursing home, an independent living community for low-income seniors and an Alzheimer’s specific residential facility.