Engage@EMU Creative Campus partners with TimeSlips, a nonprofit organization, to provide training to staff, students, and select community members and to hold events at the Ypsilanti Senior Center on April 7 and 14 from noon to 2 p.m.
TimeSlips is an organization that provides training and engagement techniques to assist those with dementia or any cognitive impairment through creativity and imagination. The training allows people to understand aging and learn how to communicate with elders better. Timeslips became a nonprofit in 2013 after beginning with one volunteer in 1998.
Engage@EMU was created to help build relationships by coordinating and initiating partnerships between different businesses and organizations. The partnership with TimeSlips allows students to learn skills outside of the classroom.
The director of Engage@EMU, Decky Alexander, implemented techniques in the past through Eastern Michigan University’s applied theatre classes.
Tyler Calhoun is a graduate student at EMU and the program coordinator from Engage who’s handling the activities with TimeSlips. After moving to Chicago after graduation, Calhoun did an interview for his podcast with the project manager at Timeslips, Andrew Morton.
“One of the things he talked about is TimeSlips, and when I came back to Eastern to work for Engage, I had to talk to Decky about this,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun felt the need to bring the program to our campus and expand with it, and the partnership was created.
“We wanted to partner with TimeSlips to make the training available to more people on campus,” Calhoun said. “This would be so that more people can use it within the community and benefit from what TimeSlips has to offer.”
TimeSlips has virtual training that will teach students techniques like repetition and echoing to reinforce participant engagement. There will be six modules online and an option to become a certified facilitator. Having the certification allows you to become a teacher with the program.
“It's a lot of basic things that we kind of take for granted in this training, the key concepts that they teach you,” Calhoun said. “But the way that they structure them really gives you a guide on how to pull tools out of your belt when you need to.”
Calhoun said imagination and compassion are important when communicating with older adults.
The partnership with TimeSlips is until the fall of 2022.