FLUKES play for Westbrook Housing residents through UNE Wellness Center

Members of a ukulele band play for seniors outside
The FLUKES, Maine's premiere ukulele ensemble, play for Westbrook Housing residents outside the UNE Wellness Center.

The University of New England Center for Excellence in Aging and Health (CEAH) hosted the FLUKES, Maine's premiere ukulele ensemble, at an outdoor event at the new UNE Wellness Center at Westbrook Housing on Wednesday, Sept. 15. The center links UNE students with residents in shared pursuits for healthful aging and intergenerational learning.

The FLUKES performed hits from the 1930s to the present, including one of their own songs about the venerable Maine lobster roll. The event kicked off a series of social and wellness events organized by students through the Service-Learning Office of the Westbrook College of Health Professions in partnership the CEAH and Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education (CECE).

Close to 50 students attended planning meetings the previous week.

“I am blown away by the enthusiasm of our students for this effort,” said Tom Meuser, Ph.D., founding director of the CEAH. “I am really excited to see what our interprofessional teams create for residents.”

Students from UNE’s programs in social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, osteopathic medicine, nursing, physician assistant, and pharmacy among other disciplines are currently volunteering their time and talents for CEAH projects. A series of mini-wellness festivals at different buildings, topical presentations, and home visits to combat isolation are in the works, Meuser said.

The UNE Wellness Center at Westbrook Housing is an expression of UNE’s commitment to intergenerational service-learning as one of the first Age Friendly Universities in the United States.

“This partnership would not be possible without the deep commitment of the Westbrook Housing Authority and the generous engagement of students, faculty, and staff from across the University,” Meuser remarked.

The UNE Wellness Center at Westbrook Housing