I have taught Health at Foothill College for several years. In the past, most of my students have been young adults attending the community college – who were required to take the class and not always so enthusiastic about it. This year, I have started teaching in a new program – in the adaptive learning community-based program. My students are mostly elderly – between 85 and 95 years old.
I have adapted the Health curriculum – from the HLTH021 class in the Biological and Health sciences department – for the older adult population. The text – (not required) is “Dare to be 100” by Walter M. Bortz II, M.D.
‘DARE’ to be 100 is also the nickname I’ve given the class. I was sharing this information with my students when one of them said to me “but dear, I am already 100”.
“You are?” I exclaimed. I was very impressed. I went over to her and shook her hand. A beautiful example of someone committed to lifelong learning. There she was, at age 100, sitting in my class trying to learn something new.
What a joy it is to work with this population. Everyone is warm and friendly, appreciative of what I bring to them – always enthusiastic (although sometimes they do fall asleep (lol)). And I feel so young 🙂
I joke that although I am using most of the curriculum from the HLTH021 class I did leave out the section on birth control. However, when it comes to health – people are people – no matter what age you are. Our basic needs are the same. We need to pay attention to our diet, get enough sleep, drink enough water and get plenty of exercise – no matter how old we are.
This blog is about teaching these classes. About working with older adults – about how to best meet their needs. It is a reflection about teaching, about aging, about self-expression and about learning – for my students, my peers, and for myself.