OPTEACH

OLDER PERSON


Here are the top 10 reasons for OPTEACHing!

Now that you know a little about the OPTEACH approach, feel free to explore the benefits. Then follow the pathway to the next step.

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You're an expert in ageing

Share your real life experience of how you made decisions and choices that got you to where you are today. What did you do when you were younger that your body reminds you of on a daily basis?

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People can learn from your story

You are the BEST person to tell people about your life experiences and what you've learned. Let the 'young ones' know what life was like when you were their age. How are things different now?

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The lessons learned from you can help others

When nurses and carers better understand people like you, it will help them when they work with similar folk. If you weren't happy with how a person treated you, then you wouldn't want someone else to be treated the same way, would you?

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Community involvement benefits everyone

By presenting at an education session, you will help people to be less judgemental of older people. Isn't spreading kindness, understanding and compassion a good thing?

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You might learn something, too

As you relate to the learners you might discover something you didn't know before. What might you learn from volunteers, nurses, carers or students? You might even make some new friends!

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Become a positive role model

You can share your tips for navigating the ups and downs of life, and how to age well. Don't you think younger people could use some perspective on living a long time?

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Have something to look forward to

Some days may feel a little dull, so it can be helpful to do something unusual, 'out of your comfort zone' or in a different location.

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Help reduce ageist stereotypes

Out in the community there can be perceptions that ‘older people are all the same’. You can show them that is not true!

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Improve your self-confidence

You might not fancy yourself as a public speaker, but saying 'yes' to presenting at an education session could boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.

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Reflect on a 'life worth living'

People like you have had many experiences over the years, and presenting at an education session will help you reflect on what is most important to you. In hearing your story, younger people might also reflect on their values and priorities.

Want more information?

 

Are you curious about what OPTEACH might look like?

Do you want to know how to prepare for being involved?

If you are interested in finding out more or even taking the next step, then sign up now!

OPTEACHers said:

A retired man from a rural community shared his story with university students. Marv states:

"The more I think about it (participating in education sessions), the more I think it is a great idea; it's something that should be done more frequently because that's what we're here for - to learn and to teach each other and to show each other. You've lived life and are living your life for many years and you've got much to give and so I think it's important that it's done on a regular basis. I am happy to contribute whenever I can, yeah!"

Philomena is a woman living in a residential aged care facility with dementia. She had this to say about nurses and carers learning from textbooks:

"But I am the one that can talk to them, that can tell them, that can answer the[ir] questions.  Provided it's much the same sort of dementia. I don't know of any other sorts.  And I can tell them about all the tears along the way but that's alright.  That's okay.  The best thing to do is to find yourself little interests, little things that you can do with other people and [those opportunities] pop up."

Mary (a volunteer coordinator) contributed to teaching students through interviews and in a textbook, stated:

By having older people included in education "the older person realises how important they are, how important their opinion is and how important what they say is and how they feel. You see, I hear complaints – people in hospital, they'll say, 'the nurse or the doctor came in and it was as if I wasn't there'. That person feels they are being excluded from the conversation, which does nothing for their self-esteem."