Actual or simulated medical equipment and mobility aids need to be available for the role-playing. The curriculum provides examples. Improvise as needed to make this Step as realistic as possible.
The use of the Instant Aging Kits will make the youth’s ‘senior adult’ role-playing experience more realistic, as well as provide a different human appearance for the animals to encounter. Refer to Step 4: Learn About Senior Adults in the curriculum for information that will help you with intergenerational activities.
Members should bring their 4-H PetPALS packs containing the required contents. Bringing their packs to this meeting will help them learn use of the pack contents, and what may need reorganized for the actual visit.
In addition to the use of equipment, the animals should experience the following types of interaction during the role-playing scenarios: brushing and petting; receiving a treat (with the animal taking it gently); playing with a toy; two people shouting at each other around the pet in an irritated, cross manner; being bumped from all directions; being petted in a rough manner and an awkward manner; and being approached and petted by more than one person at a time. Break this Step up as needed so the animals do not get overwhelmed and stressed by experiencing all of the different kinds of interactions at once. 4-H members need to be their animal’s advocate and remove their pets from role-playing if they show a negative change in behavior, such as stress. Watch the animal to make sure it does not become overheated. Instruct the 4-H members to give their pets a break about every 20 minutes during this role-playing, as well as on an actual visit.