Students for Seniors, a student organization created by students in the Department of Health Administration and Policy’s Program for Senior Housing Administration, was formed in response to a growing problem in the community: senior citizens in nursing homes and local living communities are at risk of experiencing social isolation that can lead to larger health issues, such as depression. Members of the organization visit with the elderly to talk with them and participate in organized activities such as bingo, jewelry making, and brain games.
The organization is also interested in fighting Alzheimer’s, which affects one in nine Americans older than 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. When the first wave of baby boomers reaches age 85 in 2031, it is projected that more than 3 million people age 85 and older will have Alzheimer’s.
To address this prominent issue in the senior population, Students for Seniors participates in fundraising events such as the 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Washington, D.C., where they raised $200 for the cause. On April 26, they held a Casino Night for the residents and their families of Sunrise Assisted Living of Hunter Mill. This event included tables for poker, blackjack, roulette, and more.