This semester a class of seniors from the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing had the opportunity to engage with a different kind of senior – the older adults living at United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC)’s Glazier Commons Assisted Living Center.
Class instructor, Catie Doman, RN, BSN explains, “This hands-on course is part of a rotation regarding community health for our nursing students, all of whom are graduating this year. UMRC’s Glazier Commons is a wonderful learning environment for our students to be present and communicate with older adults.”
This is the 4th year that Catie has brought her students to Glazier Commons. Another section of her Community Health class visits older adults who are participants at UMRC’s Huron Valley PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) in Ypsilanti.
For many of the students, it was their first time to interact and spend time with older adults. “It was great to get to know them and have the unique chance to build relationships with older adults and have intergenerational conversations you don’t normally get to have,” shares students Samantha Soren and Taylor Yendrick.
“Our students are brilliant,” says Catie, “and Kori Rochefort (Assisted Living Life Enrichment Coordinator) is so fabulous to work with. She is organized and has lots of ideas.”
“It has been wonderful to have these students at Glazier Commons,” says Kori. They have been so helpful and have allowed us to do some special activities with the residents – everything from visiting the planetarium and the Toledo Zoo, to cooking a full course spaghetti dinner together. We couldn’t have done it without their helping hands.”
“This class is different from our other clinical rotations,” says nursing student Alec Briggs. “This class really taught us about the social aspect of our job and the importance of slowing down, talking to the residents and getting to know them and hearing about their lives. You don’t necessarily have time to do that in a hospital setting.”
Catie adds, “As future nurses, this experience will help our students be more comfortable with their interactions with older adults, to understand their challenges and support systems they wouldn’t have seen before.”
Click here for more information about the Assisted Living Options at UMRC!