Heritage Senior Living announced today a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Partners for Health. The partnership will allow students from the College of Health Sciences and College of Nursing the opportunity to work with residents of Heritage Senior Living communities to research which emerging technologies can improve the health and quality of life for seniors in assisted living and memory-care communities.
This unique partnership will link students with older individuals through education and provide real-life work experiences for students. Student projects will focus on some of the top issues affecting seniors, including transfer trauma, transitions, fall prevention, loneliness and depression.
During their practicum, students will use virtual reality, an innovative therapy mat, telehealth programs and a robot named Jibo,the world’s first social robot for residential use. Using artificial intelligence, the robot engages seniors in conversation, helping them combat the feelings of loneliness.
“At Heritage Senior Living, we’re always looking for ways to lead the health care industry and efforts to move away from a social model to a medical model of care in senior living communities,” said Jaime Schwingel, Heritage Senior Living’s vice president of quality and clinical operations. “The research will help drive future technological initiatives for Heritage Senior Living and encourage nursing and therapy students to consider careers working with the nation’s largest growing population, people over age 65.”
This is a mutually beneficial partnership beginning with five nursing students who will participate in the two-semester practicum during clinical hours and will receive course credit for their work.
“We are thrilled to form this partnership with Heritage Senior Living,” said Kim Litwack, dean of the UWM College of Nursing. “We want to ensure that our students join the workforce armed with knowledge of the best practices for using technological tools that can improve care to seniors.”
“Working in a senior living community offers our students a relevant research environment in which to evaluate the best tools from the wave of technology options available,” said Ray Fleming, interim dean of the UWM College of Health Sciences.
The nursing students will begin their practicum work in September 2018 and complete their projects in May 2019. The partnership will increase in Fall 2019 to include speech, occupational and physical therapy students.