This summer Capitol Lakes Foundation Board Director, Diane Farsetta with the UW-Madison School of Nursing, reached out with a unique volunteer opportunity for Capitol Lakes residents. The Older Adult Project pairs volunteers 65 and older who are living independently with undergraduate nursing students. Volunteers with the program provide students an opportunity to learn from and about older people. While the program was started in 2012, in 2020 it moved virtual.
Capitol Lakes resident Kaj Foget, who had volunteered for the program once before, signed up for the virtual version last Fall. “I think it’s wonderful for UW-Madison to arrange this,” says Foget. “Personal connection with a different generation is so important for young people. It’s easy to write us off, but that personal connection gives a wider perspective and elevates our relevancy. I also like to be a mentor to young people.”
Foget’s mentorship has mattered. His participation in the program created a meaningful relationship with his first student. Foget recounts that “even after the program concluded we continued to meet regularly for months as friends.”
Nurturing these intergenerational connections and relationships is a key goal for your Capitol Lakes Foundation. We are grateful to residents like Kaj for engaging with students even through the challenges of Covid. As we look forward to building a “new normal” in a post-Covid world, we hope to expand opportunities for people across generations to come together and learn from each other.