The AgeSong Institute International Visitor Program is an opportunity to experience new ways of being with elders that are respectful and honoring.
The program includes helping with and participating in group activities, attending trainings and become a companion for elders when they go for outings. We accept two international students per month. During the four- to eight-week program, food will be provided for five days and lodging for seven days a week.
Being in the International Visitor Program can include a great choice of responsibilities such as:
- Participating and helping with group activities.
- Leading small groups such as art projects, book-reading, storytelling, card games and musical performance.
- Attending trainings on elder care and expressive arts.
- Supporting caregivers with tasks like setting up tables, getting drinks or assisting during lunch time.
- Taking residents out for walks, to the movie theatre, to stores, the park or dinner.
- Having an open ear to hear problems and concerns.
- Being a companion and a friend in order to create a warm and familiar atmosphere for the elders and their families.
Persons who are participating in AgeSong Institute's International Visitor Program get the chance to experience being in both of our communities: Hayes Valley Care and Laguna Grove Care. Both communities have similar programs that include many activities inside the buildings as well as outside. Our assisted living homes are based on a concept of creating a familiar atmosphere for all residents living together.
Being at Hayes Valley Care or Laguna Grove Care requires many different abilities which you will quickly learn by being with elders. You learn how to appraise the mood of the residents, which can be changing very fast, how to care for life with an illness or a diagnosis such as Alzheimer's or dementia and how to react fast to many challenging and sometimes unusual situations.
Even though being in the AgeSong Institute International Visitor Program can be demanding, it is rewarding and a lot of fun that can benefit your own life. It is not only paying attention and helping someone else, it also means getting a lot of love and kindness back from people who are way richer in experiences and wiser in many ways then we are.
If you are interested in becoming part of a team and "family" that is making a difference in the community and life experiences of elders in the AgeSong Institute International Visitor Program, please fill out our application form, visit us and get into contact with our International Visitor Program coordinator to ask questions about being a volunteer.