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Health Sciences

The Power of Connectivity with Community Older Adults & Community Resources

April 1, 2021

The Health Promotion of Older Adults in Community Clinical has had another rewarding and unique rotation during the pandemic. Connecting with our community areas, stakeholders, and older adults living in the community has been creative and completely online!

From January 27 – February 25, 2021 both Teri Lyn Healy’s student nurses and my group of student nurses worked in the Transcona area of Kildare Redonda. These 2 dedicated groups of student nurses met with community resources teams and connected one on one with volunteer older adults living in apartment blocks…all via phone and Zoom!

Zoom meetings were empowering for all of us, as Colleen Tackaberry, the Transcona Senior Resource Coordinator, and Lorna Shaw from the Health Aging Resources Team (HART) shared key findings from surveys conducted, revealing the impact of the pandemic on emotional wellness leading to social isolation. This was echoed during the students’ health assessment completed with their individual older adult clients.

Both student nurse groups collaborated and prioritized the need for educational powerpoints over the last 3 clinical weeks via Zoom. First, the Windshield Survey provided key census statistics of the Kildare Redonda area with the focus on the older adult.

Next, my group presented on Brain and Memory Wellness for the community older adults that are a group that meet weekly via Zoom, hosted by Colleen Tackaberry. There was strong community participation with 18 – 25 people total for both meetings.

Teri Lyn’s group of student nurses presented on emotional wellness, again via Zoom for community older adults, hosted by Colleen. Both groups provided access to these powerpoints as well as community resources and strategies handouts to the Transcona Seniors Resources team.

Student Quote:

This clinical rotation allowed me to expand my nursing skills outside of physical care. Although the pandemic COVID-19 restrictions made it impossible to perform physical assessments, it allowed me to enhance my therapeutic communication skills by curating individualized patient care, focusing on clients’ feelings and specific needs. With multiple group projects involved in the course, working alongside my clinical group provided several opportunities to collaborate and learn from one another. Another positive aspect of this clinical rotation was connecting with the older adult population via Zoom, providing an Emotional Health and Wellness presentation. We were able to bond with this population and provide a positive message during this time of uncertainty. – Maricel Damaso, SNRRC

Both groups of older adults were engaged, sharing their own experiences and coping strategies for both in-services and offered many words of praise to the student nurses. These powerpoints provided the student nurses the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, current research, communication skills while empowering the older adults in community! We also recognize the incredible resilience of each of these older adults as they manage multiple health issues, the effects of social isolation on mental health, and learning new ways to connect within their own community. Both groups of student nurses commended the community members and Colleen for advocating to stay connected and positive!

– Diane Ammeter

Client Feedback:

“I thought the phone visits were very enjoyable, they have been great to have someone to talk to and that wants to get to know you. Great idea during COVID, keep it up.”

“My student did an excellent job, I really enjoyed the teaching presented and the handouts she provided on medication knowledge.”

“Overall, the phone visits went well, It would have been nice to meet in person but these are strange times and better to be safe, it can be lonely so the weekly calls were always something to look forward to, she’s going to make a great nurse.”

Overall the clients of East Park Lodge enjoyed the experience of talking with a student nurse weekly, reviewing their health status as well as social and physical health concerns, and completing educational teaching sessions with the students. After the rotation was completed I followed up with the clients.

– Teri-Lyn Healy

Post written by Diane Ammeter and Teri-Lyn Healy – Nursing Instructors