Healthy4Life Pro­gram Wins LSN Award

Friend­ship Village’s lifestyles pro­gram Healthy4Life, was cho­sen as the win­ner in the Com­mu­ni­ty Impact cat­e­go­ry of the Life Ser­vices Net­work (LSN) 2013 Hon­or­ing Excel­lence Award Pro­gram. This is the sec­ond time with­in the past three years in which Friend­ship Vil­lage has earned the award.

Life Ser­vices Net­work is the largest elder­care asso­ci­a­tion in Illi­nois, rep­re­sent­ing the lead­ing providers of com­plete con­tin­u­um of care ser­vices for old­er adults.

Healthy4Life, an inter­gen­er­a­tional pro­gram devel­oped by the Lifestyles Depart­ment of Friend­ship Vil­lage, teach­es area junior high stu­dents about the process of aging and the impor­tance of a healthy lifestyle. It also pro­motes under­stand­ing of ageism: the prej­u­dice, dis­crim­i­na­tion or stereo­typ­ing against indi­vid­u­als or orga­ni­za­tions based on their ages.

Mike McCann, direc­tor of lifestyles at Friend­ship Vil­lage explained that the pro­gram helps the stu­dents to under­stand that just as their bod­ies are chang­ing because of puber­ty, so are seniors’ bod­ies chang­ing because of aging. Healthy4Life incor­po­rates empa­thy activ­i­ties allow­ing the kids to expe­ri­ence some of the phys­i­cal chal­lenges faced by old­er adults.

Healthy4Life also helps the stu­dents to under­stand chal­lenges that they share in com­mon with old­er adults, by ask­ing them ques­tions such as, Do you pre­fer to be with your friends? Do you hate to be told what to do? Do you get frus­trat­ed when peo­ple don’t lis­ten to what you have to say? Do you dis­like it when you’re not able to do things that you want to do, such as driving?”

Through this pro­gram we hope that the wis­dom of the old­er adults shared with the stu­dents while they are still young, will help their under­stand­ing and well-being lat­er in life,” said McCann.

Healthy4Life is pre­sent­ed to all sev­enth grade stu­dents in Dis­trict 54. Mem­bers of the lifestyles depart­ment at Friend­ship Vil­lage facil­i­tate the pro­gram with the help of some of the residents.

We are deeply hum­bled and hon­ored to receive the LSN Hon­or­ing Excel­lence Award. One of our philoso­phies of our inter­gen­er­a­tional pro­gram­ming is that the younger gen­er­a­tions always stands on the shoul­ders of the old­er gen­er­a­tion. Both gen­er­a­tions can learn from each oth­er, share and dis­cuss val­ues and make an impact on their lega­cies,” said McCann.

The award will be pre­sent­ed on Wednes­day, May 1, 2013 dur­ing the LSN’s Annu­al Meet­ing and Exhi­bi­tion at Navy Pier, Chicago.

By 2050 up to 16 mil­lion could suf­fer from Alzheimer’s.

—Alzheimer's Association