My experience with research this past year has been eye opening and incredibly rewarding. The Lifetime Experience Grant has allowed me to continue my work with the older adult community in an innovative way. The project was centered around the Bingocize™ program created by Dr. Jason Crandall, an exercise science professor here at WKU. Bingocize™ is a combination exercise program and Bingo game intended for older adults, including functional fitness exercises for the aging body.
The Lifetime Experience Grant allowed my research team to explore a Bingocize™ 2.0 version, adding the component of Health Education to the game. Rather than number and letters in the Bingo game, the cards were filled with answers to questions asked by the instructor. Between exercises, the instructor would ask a question and the participants would find the answer on their card. Each session had a different health education topic, such as Healthy Eating, Managing Diabetes, and Talking With Your Doctor. The current study looked at the effects of not only the exercises, but the health education that was potentially gained by the participants throughout the 16 week trial.
The Bingocize™ 2.0 trial was implemented at the Glasgow Senior Center with the help of Inga Steenbergen. Since the trial period ended, the research team has been collecting post data in order to track any changes that resulted from the program. We have also conducted a focus group to get feedback on the program. It’s always been the goal to make the program as effective and efficient as possible.
Moving forward, I will continue to ask the question, “How can I improve the quality of life of those around me?” and I believe it will guide me to always find meaningful work in this world. I have chosen to pursue a Master’s in Social Work once I graduate and continue to work specifically with the older adult population. If we are meant to live a long life, I want to make sure it has purpose. And with the Bingocize™ program to make healthier and happier aging citizens, we can all find that purpose.
*Mckinze used her LTE grant to fund a hybrid research and service project in the Bowling Green, KY community.