What is dementia?
Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia slowly leach away a lifetime worth of memories and social relationships, until the only thing left are fragments.
Dementia is an isolating disease that frequently leaves the person afflicted feeling alone, lonely and bereft of opportunities for social interactions. The spouse, adult child, relative or friend who is a caregiver of a person with memory problems often experiences physical and emotional strain and can benefit greatly from a short break in their caregiving duties.
What does TimeOut do?
An innovative and unique intergenerational program at UCLA gives older adults an opportunity to mentor bright, enthusiastic college students while giving their caregivers a much needed break. TimeOut @UCLA is a student-run respite program offered free-of-charge to older persons who need companionship and enjoy socialization and meaningful conversations.
Each week, they meet with students who are interested in careers in aging and learning from the rich life stories of seniors, many of whom are accomplished retired professionals. The seniors feel a sense of accomplishment mentoring students and imparting their knowledge and experience from their careers that span many decades. The students enjoy learning new things from and bask in the words of wisdom imparted by their senior mentors. With each weekly meeting, the bonds of their friendship are strengthened, all while giving the senior's caregivers time to join a support group, to get some work or household tasks done, or simply to enjoy some personal time.
Transition to an Online Program
TimeOut launched as an in-person program at UCLA in 2015. In-person sessions were offered twice a week on the UCLA campus from 1-4pm. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the safety of program participants, we transitioned to an online (virtual) program in March 2020. The online program was carefully curated to provide a secure environment where seniors and students can still engage in meaningful conversations and mentally stimulating activities from the safety and comfort of their homes.