Barbara T. Hodgdon

Ohio State University
2019

“As an Ohio Scholar in Aging, I created “Play-On,” a leisure-based nutrition education activities hub to enhance intergenerational connection between older adults and preschoolers.”

As a doctoral candidate in the Human Development and Family Science program at The Ohio State University, I am committed to studying the factors that influence the wellbeing of individuals in midlife and late adulthood. One area of my research focuses on promoting social connectedness and psychological well-being through leisure-based education programs. As an Ohio Scholar in Aging, I created “Play-On,” a leisure-based nutrition education activities hub to enhance intergenerational connection between older adults and preschoolers. This interdisciplinary project partners with agencies and institutions across Franklin County (Worthington Christian Village: Lauren Feyh, LNHA, Shannon Erskine, M.S., R.D., L.D., Kat Nielsen-mayer, BSW; the Department of Human Sciences: Jen D. Wong, Ph.D, Rama Kilani, Anna Legue, and Ashlyn Pissini).

Play-On is composed of a series of leisure-based nutrition education activities. Activities including food bingo, food relay races, and a food scavenger hunt were used to build relationships between older adults (aged 65 and older) and preschoolers (aged 3-4). The Play-On program also capitalized on college student volunteers to facilitate relationships between older adults and preschoolers. These activities fostered intergenerational relationships in which older adults and preschoolers bonded with each other and served as a transformative experience that cut across the lifespan. In addition, I created the Play-On activities hub for the Worthington Christian Village. This activities hub is a compilation of all the intergenerational activities that have been used and are being used at the center. The purpose hub is to promote the sustainability of the intergenerational program at the Worthington Christian Village. The activities hub includes all of the materials necessary to implement the activities. The Worthington Christian Village can also manage and update the activities to reflect the needs of the residents.

Through the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program, I partnered with individuals who are passionate about advancing the quality of life of older adults in Ohio. Through this experience, I built partnerships across Franklin County and effectively designed a program to be used in the community. Being a part of the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program fit well with my professional goals to advance the well-being and health of individuals in midlife and late adulthood.