NISC Chair Travels to Taiwan
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NISC Chair Travels to Taiwan

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April 10, 2014
Taiwan Visit

NISC Chair Carol Reagan was a keynote speaker at the 2014 International Conference of Elder Education and Intergenerational Learning, which was held on March 7-8, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan. Organized by National Chung Cheng University, the conference drew approximately 600 attendees from Taiwan, Japan, and the U.S. 

Reagan spoke on the “Development and Management of Innovative Senior Centers,” highlighting programs and services from senior centers throughout the United States. “This was an amazing opportunity to showcase innovative U.S. programs and services, and to learn about senior centers in Taiwan,” Reagan said. 

Conference attendees heard simultaneous translations of each presentation into their primary language, and the conference program book contained the PowerPoint slides of all speakers translated into English and Mandarin.  

Reagan visited an Active Learning Demonstration Center, Taiwan’s version of a senior center, in New Taipei City. Active Learning Centers were created in 2008 for those 55 and older. They are run by the Taiwan Ministry of Education. 

The Active Learning Centers feature a “one locale, one feature” curriculum, which combines the culture and industry around the center’s location to create courses related to aging, leisure interests, retirement planning, traffic safety, consumer education, financial management, language (Japanese & English), photography, dementia information, and “contributing services” (assistance to those less fortunate). 

The Ji Mei Senior Citizens Learning Center Reagan visited is co-located with an elementary school, providing opportunities for intergenerational programming. Reagan visited a traditional paper cutting art class and was given samples of their work as gifts.

Reagan also visited Taipei Medical University, one of the Active Life Long Learning Universities. Using the Standard University system of first and second semesters, the Active Life Long Learning University provides six hours of weekly classes in which university students and older adults interact in a campus environment. The classes cover several topics, including aging, physical fitness/exercise, travel, and health. 

Reagan attended a class taught by a physical therapist about therapeutic massage. During the class, she volunteered to be part of a demonstration of a massage technique. After travelling almost 24 hours to get to Taiwan, this massage was much needed!

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