First, you take your partner's hand and look him or her in the eye. Next, you introduce yourself. Then, you ask for their name. Last, you give a compliment.
According to the Littleton Indepdendent, these are the guidelines of Bessie's Hope, a program that brings generations together by coordinating visits between volunteers and seniors in assisted living homes. Linda Holloway started the foundation in 1994 after her grandmother, Bessie, with whom she had a close relationship with, moved into a nursing home.
“These people didn't wake up one morning and say, 'I'm going to live in a nursing home,'” said Holloway, who lives in Thornton. “It helps them see that they are worth our time and attention.”
Bessie's Hope works with a variety of people across the Denver metro area, from kindergarteners to at-risk youth to corporate groups. For one hour, they are trained on how to interact with aging adults who may have health or cognitive challenges, such as dementia. Then, the group meets at a nursing home or assisted living community and spends an hour or two making crafts and playing games.
On March 14, about 10 students from a community service club at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Highlands Ranch met at Brookdale Highlands Ranch, 9160 S. University Blvd. The residential community provides memory care for seniors.
Read more on this program and other activities that benefit memory care residents at the Littleton Indepdendent.