PORTSMOUTH — Two Shawnee State University students are continuing to make a difference in their internship with the Southeastern Ohio Branch (Greater Cincinnati Chapter) of the Alzheimer’s Association by creating and organizing some social engagement activities for association members to enjoy.
According to their national site, The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support.
Digital activities are the preferred means of engagement among southeast Ohio association members, while Ohio’s stay-at-home order and federal social distancing guidelines remain in effect. This prompted two students of the SSU Health Care Administration (Long-Term Care and Community Based Service track) program, Jayla Bowling and Hannah Lewis, to come up with and host games and activities for caregivers and those affected by dementia to engage in weekly.
Friday, April 17, started the pair’s seven-week program in which each Friday from 2-3:00 p.m., Bowling and Lewis would do a Facebook Live broadcast on the Southeastern Ohio Branch of the Alzheimer’s Association page with their pre-created games for viewers to play along with. Program director for the Southeastern Ohio Branch of the Alzheimer’s Association, Melissa Dever, has helped grant the approval for Bowling and Lewis’ social engagement project in addition to the work the group responsible for an 18-county area provides those caregivers and those affected by dementia daily.
“I’m continuing my internship with the Alzheimer’s Association right now to finish up my required hours before graduation,” Bowling said. “I contacted Melissa Dever (program director) about possibly doing some live streams of games oriented toward seniors and she helped kick-start it. Hannah (Lewis) and I have been contacting churches and nursing homes around the 18-county area, letting them know about the services the Alzheimer’s Association is providing and how they can utilize the social engagement games.”
Before the shutdown of all nonessential employees at local nursing homes, Bowling had completed 900 of her 1,000 volunteer hours required to graduate from Shawnee State’s Health Care Administration program. As colleges have transitioned to an online-only learning plan for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester, Bowling has just 20 volunteer hours remaining in her required 1,000 hour total but says she plans to continue her volunteering with those affected by dementia past her required time because of the impact her experience has had on her.
“My experience at the Alzheimer’s Association has taught me so much. I’ve always had a passion for long-term care and those with dementia have had a special place in my heart,” Bowling said. “Being able to help those with it and their caretakers during this time has honestly helped so much, and even though I’m not physically able to see my difference, it has still affected my heart.”
The first week of the program kicked-off with everyone’s favorite TV game show that will test your knowledge, Jeopardy, and will continue with such activities as Guess That Tune, Wheel Of Fortune, Name That Famous Couple, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Family Feud and a self-created exercise program.
More information on the Southeastern Ohio Branch of the Alzheimer’s Association can be found on their Facebook page or by visiting alz.org and searching for your local chapter.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved