OSU students launch hands-on effort to aid older residents


CORVALLIS - Oregon State University students will be cutting grass, trimming hedges and performing other household tasks as part of a community outreach project to aid older residents this Sunday (May 23).

Members of OSU's Gerontology Students Association and American College of Health Care Administrators, plan to turn the project into an ongoing program if Sunday's effort is successful, said Justin McGowan, an OSU senior in health care administration.

"We contacted people in the community to find those in need of help," McGowan said. "This is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing effort to aid the elderly in the community. We're ready to do just about whatever they need or what done."

Sunday's effort will be restricted to households already targeted in Corvallis and Philomath, but students could expand the program in later months depending on community response and resources available.

McGowan said that as people age, sometimes small tasks around the home can become monumental challenges and through the outreach projects, students are hoping to lift some of the burdens from the area's older residents.

The university began a formal Program on Gerontology in 1972, which focuses on preparing students to work with the elderly in areas such as human services, health care, counseling, nutrition and pharmacy. The program is administered through the OSU College of Home Economics and Education and receives support from private foundations and the U.S. Administration on Aging.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Students will meet at 8:30 a.m. Sunday before setting out for their projects. For information on project locations, contact the OSU Gerontology Program, 541-737-8231.