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.
Dr. Zaldy S. Tan is the Director of the Cedars-Sinai Health System / Memory & Aging Program and Medical Director of the Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer's & Memory Disorders, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He performs epidemiological research on brain aging and health services research on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. His studies on brain aging and memory have been published in major medical journals and featured in many national publications.
Daphne Gans, PhD
Dr. Daphna Gans is an Associate Project Scientist and former Adjunct Assistant Professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Assistant Director for Academic Programs for the UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatrics Medicine and Gerontology, and Faculty Associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Her main research interests include the nexus of informal/formal elder care and developing strategies to address the potential future shortage in informal family caregivers.
TimeOut in the News
Check out our features in campus and local news!
- 2019 | Aging Today: That Teen Touch (in print only)
- February 2018 | Fresh Faces in the Fight
- December 2017 | Grant Spotlight: TimeOut@UCLA
- May 2017 | UCLA Alzheimer’s Awareness Group Takes on Loneliness In Seniors
- May 2017 | The Quad: Students learn from older adults through volunteer programs
- July 2014 | TimeOut program connects students with seniors who have Alzheimer’s
- May 2014 | ABC News: UCLA students, elderly help each other in unique program
The TimeOut volunteer program partners with the UCLA chapter of the Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's. The Youth Movement is a group of young people whose aim is to change the perception of dementia and Alzheimer's disease and work towards a cure for the disease as youth advocates and researchers.
To learn more about the organization, please visit the Youth Movement's website.
Awards and Publications
The TimeOut@UCLA program has been recognized by Generations United National as a 2016-2019 Program of Distinction for exceptional Intergenerational Service. You can read more about it here.
An article on TimeOut @ UCLA was published in the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships! You can find the article here.