Making Elders Visible

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This week I was fortunate to attend a program entitled “Beyond Dementia”, sponsored by a consortium of healthcare providers and Brenau University. In addition to Laura Banner, FNP-C, who presented “What is Dementia?: An Overview, the other presentation was “The DIS-ease of Loneliness and What You Can Do to Help” delivered passionately by Jill Crunkleton, LMSW.

Jill Crunkleton, LMSW, NGHS

What stood out to me at this well-attended event (200) was the attentiveness of Brenau University’s Occupational Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

When the students greeted attendees, they proffered their hands to ensure elders’ safety around minor construction debris. The OT and PT students escorted patrons to events scattered throughout the building, brought lunch to the table, and at the close of the event delivered attendees to their vehicles via golf carts. When it was pouring buckets, a DPT student asked if he could retrieve my vehicle parked two blocks away or drive me to my vehicle.

Conversation that was peppered individually lifted veils of otherwise invisible community members, intentional or not.

Hats off to these professionals-in-training in a field where their daily dedication will enhance lives, nurture activity and extend days of healthy activity.

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