The Regis University Service-Learning Department has been partnering with Bessie’s Hope for their healthcare students’ geriatric experience for almost 20 years in our Community and Elders Program. Regis students of nursing, physical therapy, counseling, and pharmacology spend 10 hours with Bessie’s Hope, receiving our education and training relative to working with people who are living in elder care. They also receive information regarding the detrimental effects of ageism in healthcare, as well as society in general. Other topics covered by Bessie’s Hope include having comfortable and meaningful interaction with elders who have advanced Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.
The Regis students also participate in group gatherings facilitated by Bessie’s Hope at nursing homes and assisted living. Even though COVID led to the hands-on visits being cancelled, the students participated in our Staying Connected Initiative. They provided an abundant outpouring of letters, cards, gifts, and artwork, all of which were more than well received from our elder care communities. One activity director said, “the cards and gifts were amazing, and it made everyone so happy. We’re so grateful for you, your program and your volunteers.” We are so thankful for our partnership with Regis University!