March 21, 2016
JCC Occupational Therapy Students Gain Experience at Tanglewood Group
Noodle Ball, Sing-Alongs, and Arts and Crafts might not be things that Occupational Therapy Students at JCC imagined would fill their days during class time when they began their studies, but that is exactly what they are doing with the residents of the Tanglewood Group’s Memory Care facilities on a regular basis over the next few months.
This new partnership between Jamestown Community College’sÂ OTA program and the Tanglewood Group is intended to provide students with specialized training to help them work with the memory-impaired community - a growing demographic for caregivers throughout the country.
After an initial training conducted by Tanglewood Group’s Memory Care staff, including specific instruction on how to build an activity based environment to work with individuals with dementia, JCC OTA students are currently assisting the Activities Department in implementing individual and group activities with the residents.
Nicole Mucheck, Executive Director of Activities, has been working to develop partnerships such as this since she joined the Tanglewood Group staff last year. Her goal is not only to increase local awareness about dementia, but also to allow residents the chance to interact with a variety of different individuals in order to provide them with opportunities for socialization and stimulation.
“We are always looking for ways that we can connect with our community.” she says. “The JCC students provide fresh faces, bright smiles and new conversations. The residents have already started to enjoy the company of the students when they are here to visit. Making memorable moments allows for an increased quality of life for of our residents. We strive for that increased quality of life for each individual each and every day.”
The partnership also helps the students to gain an understanding of dementia and to develop real-life experience that will assist them in building professional communication skills to help them establish therapeutic relationships with future clients.
“The students have absolutely loved working with the residents and the Activity Department staff.” says Heather Panczykowski, Director of the JCC Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. “They have been wonderful professional models, treating each person with caring and respect. Our students are also learning how to develop and implement activities that residents are interested in participating in. This is vital in occupational therapy practice - the more residents engage in activities the more quality they have in their lives. We hope to continue the partnership in the future.”
Ms. Mucheck agrees. “We hope that this collaboration and others like it will assist us in continuing to build a healthy community that is a great place for our residents to live.”
The Tanglewood Group is well-known for its innovative approach to Dementia and Memory Care, and has been offering quality services to seniors in the greater Jamestown area for over 30 years. Visit their website at tanglewoodmanor.com or call 716-483-2876 for more information.