By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Three Western Michigan University graduate students are living alongside 80 senior citizens in a retirement community as part of what's believed to be one of the first such research projects of its kind in the U.S.
The occupational therapy students are about a third of the way through the 19 months they'll spend at Clark on Keller Lake in Grand Rapids.
The study looks at the impact of isolation and loneliness, aging and stereotypes of retirees by students and vice versa.
A similar effort is underway in Ohio, where students from the Cleveland Institute of Music live among residents of the Judson Manor retirement home. While the arrangement in Cleveland isn't tied to academic research, it features a like-minded goal: reducing the social isolation often experienced by the elderly.