Perceptions of Older Adults and Occupational Therapy Educators on Age-Friendly University Readiness
Susan M. Cleghorn, Grand Valley State University
Olivia Oldham, Grand Valley State University
Riya Patel, Grand Valley State University
Colleen Dwyer, Grand Valley State University
Gabrielle Poeder, Grand Valley State University
Age-Friendly University principles guide higher education in meeting the needs of older adult learners. Perceptions of older adults and educators may advance use of principles.
Intergenerational Learning, Universal Design, Inclusion
Older adults are pursuing educational opportunities at higher education institutions. Age-Friendly University (AFU) Principles support older adults’ educational pursuits. The purpose of this study was to gather older adult (OA) and Occupational Therapy (OT) educators’ perceptions about barriers and supports impacting engagement within higher education. Survey results from OA’s identified supports including programs, accessibility on campus, and community outreach. Barriers included lack of awareness, scheduling, and transportation. OT educators identified supports including accessible campus and programs with barriers including limited finances and technology. There is opportunity for OA's and educators to take active roles in AFU readiness.
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HEAR IT FROM THE AUTHOR:
Perceptions of Older Adults and Occupational Therapy Educators on Age-Friendly University Readiness.
A growing number of older adults are pursuing educational opportunities, activities, and resources at
higher-level educational institutions. An innovative approach in supporting older adults is the
development of Age-Friendly Universities. The purpose of this study was to obtain older adult
perceptions about barriers and supports affecting their occupational performance with higher education
and gather OT educators’ perceptions of their universities’ readiness. Surveys were disseminated, and
results show that older adults and OT educators shared similar views on Age-Friendly University
principles, though there were conflicting views among barriers and supports. Outcomes of the study
provided solutions to barriers and supports at higher education institutions, from the lens of older
adults and OT educators.
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