Your Capitol Lakes Foundation feels strongly that a big component of enhancing the living experience for our residents is providing opportunities for the next generation of health care leaders to learn about the unique needs of older adults. That’s why we were proud to partner once again with UW-Madison’s School of Nursing – this time providing volunteer options for students enrolled in Community Supports for People with Dementia – a service learning course.
During the 2022 spring semester 4 students volunteered in our memory care unit three hours a week for ten weeks. “Being able to spend time with our residents who live with dementia gives these students an important perspective and will lead to better care when they finish school and are out in the workforce,” says Victoria Scarpita, Capitol Lakes’ Memory Support Coordinator. “In the meantime, they are a true help to staff here and bring so much joy to our residents.”
On any given day, these students could be tasked with taking residents to events such as live music performances or assisting residents with pre-planned activities. But more often than not they engaged with residents on their favorite interest such as playing Scrabble or Yahtzee with Priscilla or coloring with Joyce and Barb.
These interactions proved enjoyable for residents and valuable for the student learners. According to Diane Farsetta, Senior Outreach Specialist with the School of Nursing's Center for Aging Research and Education, "In their end-of-semester presentation, the students reported learning how to better adjust to individuals' moods and abilities. They found it rewarding to see the positive responses to engaging residents in activities."
Thanks to you, we can continue partnerships that not only benefit our residents today but countless other older adults in the future through health care providers trained with their needs in mind.