Art of Aging: Drexel nursing students care for seniors

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LOWER GWYNEDD, Pa. (WPVI) -- Students in Drexel's accelerated nursing program spend a stint at Foulkeways, a retirement community in Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania.

Colleen Fries is a senior nursing student. She says, "It made me realize how much I enjoy working with this population. And,listening to their stories and their histories and the things they've accomplished is so amazing."

Senior nursing student, Kimberly Limpert says, "I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer. She had these nurses, she liked learning about their lives, playing cards with them. If I can kind of pay that forward and do that for people going through similar things, it would mean like the world to me."

The student nurses make a big difference in the lives of residents.

Dr. Bill Mebane, a retired pediatrician and Foulkeways resident says, "Oh, I think it's wonderful. Nothing like having young people in a place like this."

Foulkeways' resident Anna Lechman said, "They bring me tomatoes. They bring me chocolate ice cream, vanilla ice cream, waken me at night and say "Hey I got something for you." They've been very helpful. Not only with gifts, but a morale boost."

And for the students, the experience can be life changing.

Kaitlyn Kenny, a senior nursing student says, "Whether it's remembering that they really like chocolate pudding instead of vanilla pudding. Or even you know remember how they like to do their hair. Just seeing the satisfaction and the happiness on their faces is definitely very rewarding."

Joyceann Frazier is the Clinical Instructor at Drexel University.

She says, "When I leave here at, you know at the end of my day, I feel like I've made a difference in the residents' lives. I've put a smile on their faces and it makes me feel good to walk out the door."

For more programs for seniors, visit the Art of Aging section.