Miranda Leedham focuses on health

Brendan Carr News Contributor

Healthy Aging Club President focuses on health

Gathering around a square table members of the Healthy Aging Club discussed advertising and a plan for next year’s leadership. Leading the meeting was Miranda Leedham, president of the club.

“I never even thought about working with adults,” Leedham said.

Leedham, a Senior in the human development and family services program, found her passion for adult caregiving through HDFS 314, an OSU course on adult development and aging. The class focused on caregiving to the elderly and opened Leedham’s eyes to the practice.

“It’s our due diligence to make sure that they’re taken care of,” Leedham said.

Leedham wrote a paper about the aging of the baby boomer generation. Leedham’s concern for the future of that generation led her to join the Healthy Aging Club.

“She’s always really engaged in what the club’s doing,” Kallie Waldrip, a graduate student in the school of pharmacy and member of the club, said about Leedham. “She puts together the agendas for the club. She prints them out, makes sure everything’s organized.”

Remodeling the Healthy Aging Club, last year’s OSU Gerontology Student Association, was first on the agenda. The new club has become more inclusive focusing on younger age groups such as adolescents, teenagers, college aged students, while expanding the scope of the club, according to Jessica Niculcea, a club member.

Targeting these various age groups, the club set up a Veteran’s Day event last November. Students and faculty came by the club table and were asked to write thank you cards to veterans. Each card was addressed to an individual person and hand delivered. The veterans, when delivered the messages were eager to share their stories with the volunteers, according to Waldrip.

“That was probably the turning point in our club,” Leedham said about the event.

The event was the first event planned by the new club officers. At the beginning of the year, the club had appointed new officers for every position except treasurer, the only remaining member from last year. This inexperience caused the organization of the event itself to be rushed, but the success of the event allowed the club to relax, according to Leedham.

Allowing the club to relax further were Silver Screen events, put on multiple times per term every year. The Silver Screen events are organized with the help of OSU and bring leading experts in the aging field to lecture at OSU.

Last fall the club brought in Doctor Kelly Davis from the College of Public Health and Human Sciences to talk about balancing family and work life. Davis made the lecture more fun and engaging by using clips from The Office, a popular TV show.

“It was just applicable to everyone,” Leedham said.

Beginning spring term, the Healthy Aging Club is introducing brown bag events. The events, set up by the club with help from students in the College of Pharmacy, encourage people to bring their medications in brown paper bags. The volunteers will then explain to them when to use the medication, how to use the medication, and under what conditions they may need to see a doctor, as well as allowing them to safely dispose of any leftover medications.

“It’s a little bit more clarity,” said Niculcea. The club hopes to inform people to help them make healthier decisions.

Club members attribute this year’s success to Leedham’s leadership ability. Leedham makes sure that everyone knows each other by introducing new members at each meeting.

“I love it when new members come, because a lot of the time I just sit with them for like a half an hour after the meeting to catch them up,” said Leedham.

Flexibility is important to Leedham, according to Niculcea. Each week, the members fill out an online survey so that the week’s meeting can fit the schedule of as many members as possible. Niculcea also remarked that she always feels welcome to have fun and express concern at the meetings.

“This club is about its members,” Leedham said. “We try to stay as flexible as possible and I hope they continue with that.”

The purpose of the club is to serve its members desires, according to Leedham. This year, the club had a lot of pharmacy students leading to the creation of brown bag events. Next year, Leedham hopes the club continues to follow desires of its members.

[email protected]

Was this article helpful?