Health Sciences

The Power of Connectivity with Community Older Adults & Community Resources

September 9, 2021

As we get settled into this new academic year, let’s continue to look back at some amazing student work from last year:

The Health Promotion of Older Adults in Community Clinical has had another rewarding and unique rotation during the pandemic. From March 24 – June 3rd, 2021, through a blended approach, groups connected with community resources in the Silver Heights and Fort Garry neighbourhoods. This experience is empowering to all as the students obtain a glimpse of what it is to be a community nurse and learn from older adults as they strive to promote health and wellness.

Through phone calls and socially distanced visits, these 2 dedicated groups met with community resources teams such as the Healthy Aging Resource team (HART) and the Community Resources Finders to reveal the impact of the pandemic on emotional wellness leading to social isolation. Students were able to recognize the importance of these resources and help facilitate how to navigate our health system. The students discovered how the determinants of health impact the older adult community.

As seen in the photos, student nurse groups collaborated with clients and on-site staff during blood pressure clinics, and prioritized the need for educational sessions. The Fort Garry community area recognized a need for a broader wellness fair, focusing on brain health, nutrition, and exercise. The group split into smaller groups and created poster boards and a drop-in wellness fair, where screening was completed and all COVID protocols were adhered to.

In Silver Heights, students presented on brain and memory wellness to an older adult community group that meets weekly via the building recording studio. This was then broadcasted and recorded for all the residents in the building. The group created a booklet to give to the residents prior to the broadcasting, so they could follow along. This is a fantastic example of RRC students harnessing innovation and technology to facilitate safe connections and learning.

These initiatives resulted in engaged older adults where they shared their own experiences during the blood pressure screening clinics and welcomed the students into their homes. The students were able to recognize the incredible resilience of each older adult as they manage multiple health issues, the effects of social isolation on mental health, and learning new ways to connect within their own community.

Group A

Group B

 

The students’ hard work was very well received, as evidenced by this Note of Thanks:

We just wanted to touch base and thank you all. We appreciate the faculty, support staff and students for their untold sacrifices and commitment to serving our community, in THE MOST challenging of times.

The staff, students and Board of Directors at The Rotary Villa are so grateful for your continued support. Kudos to all the students who did their placements with us. Your hard work and courage truly inspires us. Plus the fact that you showed up during a global health crisis speaks volumes about your character & commitment to your craft.

2021 is the International Year of the Health Care Worker and we are so very proud of all of you & wish you every success in your future endeavours. Thanks again for showing up & holding space for our residents. It really was a great comfort to have you here with us.

Warmest Regards,
The Rotary Crew

Blog post written and photos provided by Teri-Lyn Healy – Nursing Instructor