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UBCO students rent affordable units at senior’s residence in exchange for fun

Two students in their 20s are living at the Vinyards residence for seniors
Michael Marshall, 25, UBCO physics student living at the Vinyards. (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

A multi-generational living arrangement has provided seniors and UBCO students with the a unique and enriching living environment.

Two students in their 20s are living at the Vinyards residence for seniors, in Kelowna, and are loving the experience.

The young men moved in mid August and pay a reduced rental rate of $500 per month in exchange for 10 hours of volunteering and interaction with residents of the long-term care, and assisted living facility each week, explained Janelle Hynes, the facility’s community relations and marketing manager.

“The rent is cheap but the experience we get is worth so much more,” said Michael Marshall, 25, UBCO physics student living at the Vinyards.

A one bedroom rental, similar to the dorm at the Vinyards, in Kelowna is currently $1,960.

READ MORE: Rising food, rental costs: Kelowna’s living wage takes a dramatic leap

@kelownacapnews The vineyards seniors residence in Kelowna has two students living in-house for $500/ month with a 10hr/week volunteer requirement. Arrangement is a success #localnews #kelowna #seniors #bowling #seniorcitizen #activity #news ♬ Pretty Boy Swag - Soulja Boy

Marshall explained that living at the Vinyards is a great way to become friends with people that he wouldn’t normally be interacting with.

Marshall organizes weekly social events and activities, like table games, baking, a gentlemen’s club, music groups and card games.

Marshall said that he is hoping to see multi-generational living programs like this one become more popular, since they benefit everyone.

One of the Vinyards residents, who asked to remain anonymous, said that she often sees Marshall and Paul Anderson, the other student-resident, around the building. She said that feels as though the arrangement provides great life experience for the young men and that she enjoys spending time with them.

Marshall said that he has learned a lot from his experience living at the Vinyards.

Hynes said that the concept for the initiative began before the Vinyards opened, as management looked for ways to to care for both the body and spirit of residents by addressing three issues that impact seniors; loneliness, boredom, and helplessness.

She said that the multi-generational approach has benefitted the seniors by providing more opportunity for in-house activities and connection.

Hynes said that so far, the experience has been like winning the lottery.

She said that the Vinyards are looking to add another student to their residence. People looking to apply for the opportunity can contact the residence at 1(236)420-4400.

Applicants will be required to submit background checks, write an essay and conduct an interview.


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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