Thaison Ha


Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, 2nd year

Course: PSYCH 329 (Winter 2023) with Instructor Tiana Rust

Who was your community partner and can you describe the project objectives

We were working with the Edmonton Meals on Wheels, a local non-profit charitable organization that prepares and delivers nutritious meals and programs aimed at fostering health, physical and mental well-being, and independence. Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals and various programs to promote people’s health, physical and mental well-being.  Our role is to talk to people seeking various things, such as social connections or suggestions for keeping healthy through phone calls and informing our supervisor of individual concerns about their meals or life. For the Lunch N Learn program, the objective was to have volunteers spend one-on-one time with older adults who have little to no experience using a smart device and teaching them how to use them. For the Friendly Caller program, the primary objective was to establish meaningful connections with individuals who may be living independently or experiencing social isolation and loneliness, with the aim of providing emotional support, companionship, and promoting their overall well-being. By offering regular phone calls and building rapport, the goal was to provide emotional support and alleviate feelings of loneliness or isolation among the individuals who participated in the program.

What was your biggest takeaway from your CSL placement

For me, the biggest takeaway is that teaching takes a lot of patience especially when you’re teaching someone who has limited knowledge. In the older population, learning the current technology can be challenging and overwhelming as there is so much to learn and the range of things you can do with our technology is so vast. In addition, society views older adults as not being able to learn “new tricks” discourages them from trying to adapt to the changing times. But, just like how our teachers patiently taught us basic math or how to write, older adults also need a teacher that can patiently guide them through how to use an iphone and be able to call their loved ones. Learning new things by yourself is stressful and that stress can discourage you from trying new things. These teaching experiences can help alleviate some stress for older adults and create a unique experience and encourage them to build on their knowledge that they were shown. With an open-mind and lots and lots and lots of patience, you can teach an old dog “new tricks”, it just takes patience, practice, and a positive attitude.

How can you apply any newly gained knowledge/skills to your future endeavours (courses/employment/volunteering)?

My newly gained knowledge can be applied anywhere! Whether it's in a school setting or work setting or volunteering, there is always someone around who is eager to learn a new skill! I can use what I  learned to form a unique connection with them and also help them grow as an individual by passing on the knowledge that I possess.