Program preparing students to work with seniors
Working with Seniors helps students better understand challenges in geriatric population
Baycrest Health Sciences and Toronto’s Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences have partnered to provide students enrolled in Michener’s health-care programs with the skills to meet the unique challenges of geriatric care.
The weeklong training program is held in summer. The program, which has been permanently integrated into Michener’s curriculum, saw 270 enrol last summer.
As part of the program, called Working with Seniors: A Primer for Healthcare Providers, students have an opportunity to wear a “frail-aging simulation suit” to help them better understand the challenges many seniors face, such as mobility and vision issues.
The suit provides wearers with challenges that impede walking and vision. Its purpose is to help students understand mobility issues first-hand so they can incorporate their experience when working with senior citizens who are frail.
While some students last summer chose to wear the suit, others interacted with their colleagues to help demonstrate what it’s like to work with someone who has limited mobility and eyesight.
Elizabeth Pickles, a medical laboratory sciences student at Michener, says participating in the program was “an eye-opening experience” that gave her more confidence in working with the senior segment of the population.
“For me, I . . . learned some good hands-on (skills) to work with any special group,” Pickles tells The OMNIway. “It really helped me feel confident when I am dealing with a (senior) patient. I (now) have some skills to help me work through any communication (challenge) or any idea I am trying to get across.”
Baycrest and Michener also looked to a seniors committee to design the program. Members of a community health centre’s seniors’ advisory council provided insight as well as an acting troupe made up of seniors called ACT II that engaged the students in role-playing.
Click here to learn more about the program.
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