SARASOTA, Fla. - There are many hotels here on the Suncoast. So why does a 25-year old college student from Denmark choose a 10-day stay a Suncoast senior care facility?
One young woman with a mission traveled more than 4,000 miles from Denmark to Florida to attend the International Conference on Positive Aging in Sarasota. Then she took up temporary residence at The Pines assisted living facility.
25-year old Fia Hojsleth is doing a pilot project focused on social innovation as it applies to the aging population in Denmark. "There's a lot of things happening in Denmark, but the whole creativity and life quality, we're a bit behind."
The Center for Positive Aging put her in contact with Pines of Sarasota, and she moved in for ten days. And what did she discover there? "Creativity and life quality, it's this feeling of connection and care." Back home, says Hojsleth, the emphasis is on health. "The main focus in Denmark is active sports."
Small exercise activities are encouraged, with little attention on connection quality and fun. But Denmark’s nursing homes lead in other categories. "The technology around it, like the toilets that we have, showers. Yes." Volunteer of the Institute for the Ages, Tracy Lux, says another Danish student from a Copenhagen design school at the conference on positive aging focused on the experience of products and services. “They are looking at technology, they are looking at any of the things that are cutting edge that might be done for older people."
Hojsleth says spiritual and emotional well-being are promoted far more here, relatives and guests are encouraged as is interaction with residents. “It’s Wii bowling, which is very fun. I didn't get to play it because I was not good enough.” And the butterfly garden. “Really getting working and making the garden look nice out there. So there's a huge purpose with actually sitting and doing this activity." The biggest difference she says is a feeling she can’t describe. And Pines residents say it was a mutual learning experience. "I think she'll take back an awful lot of good information."
“I think we learned something from her, too. But she does cheat at cards."
There are currently 69 assisted living facilities and 30 nursing homes in Sarasota County.
SARASOTA, Fla. – There are many hotels here on the Suncoast. So why does a 25-year old college student from Denmark choose a 10-day stay a Suncoast senior care facility?