Kendal on Hudson’s Continued Learning Partnership with Pace University

Lifelong learning invites us to be curious, delve deeper into topics that interest us, and explore subjects that we’re passionate about. That’s why Lifelong Learning is a core value at Kendal on Hudson.

Residents of the senior living community in Sleepy Hollow, NY, have a unique opportunity to continue their education through Kendal on Hudson’s partnership with Pace University. The partnership started in 2019 and was renewed in 2023, with six residents participating in the Fall 2023 semester. 

Of the 26 available courses for Kendal residents, most were taught at the Westchester campus in Pleasantville. Courses in White Plains and remote courses were also available. Residents can register for one course per semester without paying tuition.

When residents audit courses, they can contribute to class discussions and complete the assignments they choose to do but do not receive grades. They’re in class in the spirit of learning and furthering their education.

“The culture of KOH has always been one of continued learning. Many residents are involved in academia, and we have a fair amount of book authors who reside here. Always learning is part of the culture,” said Lois DiStefano, Director of Sales and Marketing.

What Courses Are Kendal Residents Taking?

group of seniors gathered around a conference table

Pace University offers a variety of interesting courses that cover subjects in the humanities, political science, law, government, and more.

Kendal residents have the opportunity to enroll in these courses:

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Mindfulness/Cultural
  • Art History- Renaissance
  • Comparative Political Systems
  • Watercolor Course
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Principles of Design

“Our residents have a variety of academic backgrounds and areas of expertise. It’s always interesting to see the courses they choose. We can’t wait to hear about their experience, what they learn, and to see this partnership continue to flourish,” said Jean Eccleston, CEO.

Mentorship with Pace Students

handwritten sign that says,

Kendal on Hudson’s partnership also provides internship opportunities for staff to mentor Pace students. The students gain first-person experience where they can ask the experts questions and learn in a dynamic environment. 

Lisa Wacht, Health Services Administrator at Kendal on Hudson, said of her mentorship experience, “My role is to give incoming students an overview of our community. To help them understand the dynamics of a life care community with multiple levels of living and support/services.”

“I help them understand both the clinical and financial models of a community like ours and how that benefits the consumer. I like to share how I got into long-term care and that while healthcare is needed for all ages, working with the senior population in a residential setting allows you to really get to know your residents as opposed to a patient who will come but leave after services are rendered. There is a different kind of reward in working in this setting as you become part of their life and an extension of their family.”

“The PACE students have always been very eager and gracious. They have really found ways to explore all aspects of our community and make their learning experience one that works for them while giving back to Kendal and its residents,” said Lisa.

Cathy Disoma is another mentor for nursing and occupational therapy students from Pace. They’ve worked on projects like:

  • Fall-prevention clinics
  • Wellness history questionnaires
  • Hand clinics
  • Home safety evaluations
  • Assisted device clinics

Cathy said, “It is always a great thing to see the knowledge exchange between our residents and the students.”

“I tell students never to be afraid to present new ideas and opinions as you hone the skills of a critical thinker. In high school, we are told what to think. In college, we are asked what we think. I also advise them to consider a career working with seniors!” said Cathy.

staff members huddled together for a group photo in the fitness center

Benefits of Lifelong Learning for Older Adults

Being a lifelong learner has multiple health benefits that can help you age well. Studies show that lifelong learners have the following benefits:

When you’re in a classroom environment, you’re engaging your mind as you’re learning new concepts and ideas. You’re keeping your brain active and healthy.

You also have exciting opportunities to meet new people–both your peers and professors. Whether you’re conversing in class discussions or speaking after class, you can expand your social circle to include people who are as passionate about lifelong learning as you.

Continue Your Educational Journey with Kendal on Hudson

The community’s commitment to learning extends beyond the front doors of the residences. We invite you to learn more about life at Kendal on Hudson by scheduling a visit for a personalized tour and an overview of programs and events. Give us a call at 833-235-5850.