College student resides at senior living center

Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 04, 2016

Dorm life is part of the college experience, but a UW-Milwaukee student has decided to room with a group of people who would've gone to college more than fifty years ago.

Ian McGibbon majors in art education. His room looks like a typical college dorm room except he lives in a senior living center on Milwaukee's lower east side.

He runs workshops in exchange for room and board. "It's like having that cross friendship is really amazing. And things people learn still at an older age amazes me," McGibbon said.

On the day TODAY'S TMJ4 visited, residents were decorating boxes to fill with something special to give to a loved one.

97-year-old Helen Sher said it's fun, and she enjoys it, "It's a little on the hard side. The hands don't want to go where the brain says it should go, but that's the way it goes."

The youngest resident at Chai Point is 76-year-old Donna Perlson. She enjoys having Ian around, especially at dinner time. "He tried gifilte fish. He didn't like it too much, but that was OK. I said you can like anything you want," she said.

Besides eating with residents, Ian loves playing games. He's designed an upcoming workshop around games such as Scrabble and cribbage. But art is where his real passion lies, and he's happy to accommodate an older generation.

"I'll have volunteers and myself to cut things out. Or, if someone has really shaky hands we'll provide someone that can help them paint," he said.

After graduation Ian hopes to get a job as an art teacher at a school or senior living center.