Northern Maine Community College recently honored Aroostook County senior citizens who volunteered for the Nursing program’s Well Elder initiative at celebratory teas and luncheons. The events were held on the Presque Isle campus and at Calais Regional Hospital.
“The benefits of hosting the Well-Elder Tea is first to show our appreciation for the
well-elders participation with our students’ education. The events allow the participants a chance to meet faculty, students and each other,” said Mary Cornelio, NMCC Nursing Department Chair. “We want to share all of what our students have learned with the well elders and we want the students to have a lasting impression of the importance of working with a particular group of individuals.”
At the event, students introduced their well elder and shared the most valuable lesson they learned that will help them throughout their Nursing career. Each location also hosted a guest speaker. Suzanne Sandusky from Seniors Achieving Greater Education (SAGE) spoke at the Presque Isle event, and Maine House Representative Anne Perry, a nurse and nurse practitioner, was the guest speaker in Calais.
The Well Elder program is a long-standing tradition that began in the 1990’s. It is coordinated annually by the NMCC Nursing and Allied Health department and pairs members of the first-year nursing class with healthy senior citizens who volunteer to allow students into their homes throughout the semester to practice their assessment techniques.
The experience provides an opportunity for the students to sharpen their skills and develop a new appreciation of all the accomplishments and contributions made by the older generation.