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Program Summary

Gray for a Day is a multi-state, peer-reviewed, and research-based curriculum that utilizes an empathic model to educate participants on age-related sensory and functional challenges some adults might face through engaging simulations that reflect daily routines, simple tasks, and leisure or social activities. The program has been successfully delivered through Extension, by FCS teachers in schools, by long-term care administrators, and many others. The program has been shown to increase knowledge, attitudes, and intended health behaviors; further analysis is currently underway and results are forthcoming.

Program Benefits

  • Improves knowledge of how sensory and functional abilities can decline with age.
  • Utilizes experiential and active learning to engage participants in simulations and associated activities.
  • Improves knowledge about the influence of sensory and functional decline on daily life experiences.
  • Helps to develop skills to effectively interact with and support older adults who experience sensory and functional decline.
  • Improves intentions to practice healthy and safe behaviors across the lifespan to promote optimal holistic sensory and functional aging.

Target Audience

This program is intended for use with 4-H youth through older adults themselves and can be adapted for any age group, size of group, or profession.

Program Length

1-time program; 60 minutes

Program Cost


Equipment Needed

Sensory aging kits (average cost is $0.50 per kit, with some items being reusable). The complete material list is provided in the Gray for a Day Leader’s Guide.

Want to Know More?

You can learn more about the Gray for a Day program at this site. This program has been presented at the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the National Council on Family Relations, the American Public Health Association, and numerous regional and statewide conferences. Peer-reviewed journal publications highlighting processes and results are forthcoming.


If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Erin Martinez, Kansas State University, at


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