A SWOSU student assists a resident on the piano as part of the new intergeneration living experience between Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford and Corn Heritage Village & Rehab.

A SWOSU student assists a resident on the piano as part of the new intergeneration living experience between Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford and Corn Heritage Village & Rehab.

Inter-Generational Residential Experience Taking Place Between SWOSU and CHVR

There is a new inter-generational residential experience going on in western Oklahoma.

Corn Heritage Village & Rehab (CHVR) and Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford now have “SWOSU at the Village,” a collaboration designed to benefit both senior citizens and university students.

CHVR provides apartment-style, independent living for senior citizens—as well as skilled nursing, long-term care, and memory care—at their Corn (OK) location. With this new program, the facility provides a free, partially furnished apartment—with amenities— for the SWOSU students in exchange for their interaction with the CHVR residents.

“We are the first nursing home in Oklahoma to implement the intergeneration living concept,” said CHVR Executive Director Dee Henderson. “These experiences are rare; similar programs can be found at the Cleveland Institute of Music and in countries such as the Netherlands and France.”

The concept is the brainchild of Henderson and Stephanie Warner, assistant administrator at CHVC.

 “We were delighted when Dee approached SWOSU with the idea,” said SWOSU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Ruth Boyd. “We hope to continue this program well into the future.”

The program was piloted during this past fall 2018 semester. Molly Nguyen, senior music therapy major from Oklahoma City, was the first SWOSU student to participate. Nguyen regularly performed musical pieces for the residents and interacted in a variety of ways, including offering piano lessons.

“I have grown so much as a student music therapist, and my interaction and relationships with the residents have so positively influence me,” Nguyen said. “This is an unforgettable experience that I am so grateful to have been a part of as the first SWOSU student in the program.

For the current spring 2019 semester, two SWOSU students have been selected and will soon begin their intergenerational living experience, while a third student is also under consideration.