Photography exhibition to promote positive aging

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elderly couple walking in field toward trees with fall leaves

MACON — Mercer University’s Engage team is presenting “Images of Positive Aging: A Guided Response Tour Photography Exhibition” on Feb. 22 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Mercer Innovation Center at the corner of College and Prince streets. The exhibition showcases images that were used in an interprofessional education activity with health professions students to promote positive aging.

“Health humanities using visual arts can foster the development of habits of the heart, improving visual literacy, clinical observation skills, resilience, empathy and reflection in health professions students,” said David W. M. Taylor, clinical associate professor of physical therapy in the College of Health Professions. “These skills are necessary to provide age-friendly health care for older adults.” 

Students involved in the education activity said it helped shape how they look at older people.

“I feel more empowered to seek out older people, have more conversations, go deeper into conversations and build relationships,” said doctor of psychology student Elisha Robinson.

“Progressing through the photos allowed me to see what others saw and changed my perspective.” said doctor of physical therapy student Courtney Shockey.

The activity was developed to support the University’s health professions students’ awareness of the lived experience of older adults through photography and was based on the 4Ms framework of age-friendly health systems: What Matters, Medication, Mind and Mobility. Engage faculty will be present during the event to answer questions and provide information on the 4Ms framework of age-friendly healthcare. 

Engage is an interdisciplinary team of clinician educators in Mercer’s College of Health Professions and College of Pharmacy including Dr. David Taylor; Dr. Leslie Taylor, professor of physical therapy; Dr. Jennifer de la Cruz, clinical associate professor of physician assistant studies; and Dr. Susan Miller, professor of pharmacy practice. Engage is part of Georgia Gear, a multi-institute partnership whose goal is to improve clinical care and quality of life for older adults and their families in Georgia.

The exhibition is the result of an activity supported by a Mercer Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Grant including students and faculty from the College of Health Professions, College of Pharmacy and Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.