Bessie’s Hope is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit. all donations are tax deductible

Youth & Elders Program Feature – October 2019

Featured are some of the students who participated in our School-to-Career Work Force Development for Long Term Care this summer through the DPS CareerConnect program and through a DPS summer internship program.  The students received the Bessie’s Hope education on long term care: the reasons people are in long term care; the various levels of long term care; dementia; hearing and vision loss; and other physical conditions, such as stroke and diabetes. They also received training that enabled the volunteers to have comfortable and meaningful interaction with elders of all levels of cognitive functioning, including advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. 

The students participated in visits at two nursing homes, Briarwood Health Care Center and Cedars Health Care Center.  Bessie’s Hope staff facilitated the visits and introduced the students to staff members at the elder care homes.  The students received a presentation on the many jobs and career opportunities in elder care homes.  They also went to Argus Home Health Care Agency and received a presentation on the jobs and career opportunities within home health care.  In fact, two of the students filled out job applications at Argus. 

The students had the opportunity to shadow various positions within Briarwood, and three of the students participated in a six-week internship there.  One of the students chose to do her internship with Bessie’s Hope to participate in more administrative and marketing tasks and learning opportunities.

Learn more about how to get your youth or school group involved here.

Community & Elders Program Feature – October 2019

For a number of years, Bailey, talk show host on iHeart Radio KTCL Channel 93.3,  has partnered with Bessie’s Hope for her “Gifts for Grands” project.   Each year, shortly before Christmas, Bessie’s Hope provides Bailey with a list of first names of nursing home elders who never receive visitors and their Santa Wish Lists.  Bailey shares the lists with her listeners, and they sign up to provide gifts for the individual elders.  The listeners are invited to join Bailey and a Bessie’s Hope staff member to participate in a social gathering with the group of elders, after which the volunteers give the gifts to the elders.

This year, Bailey wanted to create multiple opportunities for her listeners to have the heartwarming experience of participating in a group visit at an elder care home.  Pictured are Bailey and some of the other volunteers who participated in a Bessie’s Hope training session and a group visit with elders at Chelsea Place.

Learn more about getting your business or community group involved here.

Family & Elders Program Feature – October 2019

Pictured are Blythe Dollar, Bessie’s Hope Program Coordinator, who is conducting a “placement” with volunteer, Andrea Goth.  They are visiting elders at Greenridge Place.  After volunteers participate in the Family and Elders Program orientation, they are introduced to a number of elders who have no one, or who are seldom visited.  This is the “placement”.  The volunteer may choose to adopt one person or to visit as many as possible upon each of his/her visits.

Our Family and Elders Program provides the opportunity for individuals or families to “adopt” an elder, or elders, who have no personal visitors.  This is such a rewarding experience.  Individuals always report that they felt they received more than they could possibly give, and it is a deeply fulfilling relationship with the elder.  Families report that it is such a meaningful experience for family members to share.  With everyone being so busy with their own interests, this is a time the family comes together to give of themselves.  Families have also said that it has made a positive difference in family dynamics.  Coming together to give love, just creates more love for everyone involved!

There are some interesting and appealing elements within this volunteer program.  You don’t have to have a schedule.  You drop in to visit, as you would a family member.  This is what the goal is—the relationship becomes like family and mutually rewarding.  Also, if you choose to not adopt just one or two elders, you can also choose to create your own “program” or project for many of the elders at the care home.  For example, you can provide nail polishing and hand cream for all the ladies who come to your own scheduled “spa” time.  If you do choose to create a group experience, it does have to be scheduled in advance.  If it’s an ongoing group activity, you can commit to every month, twice a month, weekly, etc.  Another example, you can choose to play the piano once a month.

For more information:

Click Here

Call Blythe Dollar at 303-623-2152 

or

Fill out the application to attend an orientation!

Youth & Elders Program Feature Story- Swigert International School at Balfour Stapleton

We are so pleased to have begun our partnerships with both Balfour at Stapleton and Swigert International School this past year! The ongoing visits from elementary friends bring smiles to the faces of all the Balfour elders.  Each week a new group from the school arrives ready to spread joy.

Swigert International School, like several of our other campuses, has made a unique commitment to allowing each of their students to visit the Balfour at Stapleton. We began with visits from 5th graders in the fall, 4th graders in the winter, and now, 3rd graders for the spring.

The elders at Balfour look forward to sharing their stories each week, and laughter abounds among the youth and elders.  Our Bessie’s Hope team is so proud to see happiness emanating from the elders, compassion gained by students, and the bond built by the two during each visit.

Learn more about how to get your youth or school group involved here.

Community & Elders Program Feature Story – Screen Pilot at Briarwood Health Care Center

It felt like a family reunion!  The elders at Briarwood Health Care Center were treated like the matriarchs and patriarchs of the families of these volunteers.  Becky Dibble, owner, and 10 other employees from Screen Pilot  filled the room—and the elders—with love, joy and appreciation.  Facilitated by Bessie’s Hope, there was dancing, singing, hugging, and a lot of “getting-to-know-you” conversation.  After this first visit, Becky and the others decided that this would NOT be the only visit.   Screen Pilot will be part of the Community and Elders Program for ongoing visits!

Learn more about getting your business or community group involved here.

Special Feature – Happy 75th Anniversary

Vivian and Robert Duntsch met in Riverton, Wyoming in 1939, and love has blossomed through all the years!    At a recent visit by “Community & Elders Program” volunteers from St Gabriel the Archangel Episcopal Church to Orchard Park Health Care Center, it was revealed that this couple had two significant celebrations this year.  They are celebrating 75 years of marriage, and they are STILL SO in love!  It is beautiful to see such enduring love and very special companionship.  Robert is also celebrating his 100th birthday!  He is now blind, but his positive personality is such a light.  We thank Vivian and Robert and their son for allowing Bessie’s Hope to feature them and  join in their inspirational celebrations.

        

See Community and Elders Program and get your work place or organization involved.

Youth & Elders Program: DCIS at Briarwood

The Denver Center for International Studies partners with Bessie’s Hope to provide a meaningful intergenerational service opportunity for the students.  All activities through Bessie’s Hope are focused on volunteers doing things with the nursing home elders, not to them or for them.   Choices, decision making, and active participation help engage the elders at their highest level of cognitive functioning.  Communication and leadership skills are enhanced for the youth.   What joy is experienced by youth and elders, and both look forward to the next visit.  After the visit at which these photos were taken, one of the boys said, “Every kid needs to get to do this.  It’s important.”

      

Check out our Youth and Elders Program, get a group involved!

Family & Elders – Kristina Benson

This program is a perfect volunteer opportunity for individuals and families to experience the most rewarding relationship with nursing home and assisted living elders who have little or no personal visitors. To get involved as a Family and Elders Program volunteer, go to that page on our website and fill out the application. Below is a story by one of our volunteers.


“It came up in conversation that Isidro had been an accomplished accordion player. I had an accordion at home, so I decided to bring it in on my next visit to see if he would like to play. When he saw the accordion, Isidro smiled, picked it up, and started playing beautifully. It was quite magnificent to see him shine. Many of the residents gathered chairs around him, and we all listened with joy as he played many songs he had memorized. Isidro said that the accordion was the “tool” he used when speaking for his church.

“It was so amazing to see him play, and he was fantastic, not missing one beat. This taught me a lot, because even though he is in a memory care facility, it was evident he still had not lost any of the memory relating to music or playing the accordion. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share my love for accordion with Isidro. Thank you!” -Kristina Benson

Community & Elder Program – iHeart Radio

iHeart Radio’s talk show host, Bailey, created “Gifts for Grands”, which gives her listeners the opportunity to purchase gifts for nursing home elders who have no visitors. Each elder gets to make a Santa Wish List, so the gifts are especially for that individual. Bailey has partnered with Bessie’s Hope for four years to coordinate with nursing homes and gather the wish lists. For the listeners to be able to experience the joy of seeing the elders’ faces light up from opening their special gifts, Bessie’s Hope facilitates a “Getting to Know You” group session that is followed by the elders opening their gifts. In 2018, there were three nursing homes involved.