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Venetian Gardens Partners with UC Students to Support Nursing Home Residents with Dementia

Cincinnati Nursing Home Partners with University of Cincinnati
December 11, 2023

Venetian Gardens recently partnered with students from University of Cincinnati to provide nursing home blankets for residents battling Alzheimer's and Dementia. 15 students from the student group "Plaid for Pops" met with the Venetian Gardens team as well as some of Venetian's corporate support team to pass out 35 blankets and lots of hugs! The group of University of Cincinnati students were united in one goal - to bring a sense of comfort and love to residents in Alzheimer's care units. And on Friday, in the midst of all their other responsibilities with school, work, and internships, these students gave out the 35 blankets they made in the week, while spending time with each resident, as they listened to, and learned from, each resident. 

"It was a beautiful thing to see," said Venetian Gardens administrator Tim Wagstrom, "These students were here by choice. They were determined to make a difference. And they did in a huge way!"

Venetian Gardens is a 99-bed skilled nursing facility in Loveland, Ohio. Of those 99 beds, 33 residents live in a specialized secure unit for residents with Alzheimer's and Dementia. While the security of the doors, provides safety and security for these residents, it is the dedicated staff that helps each resident thrive mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. 

Plaid for Pops was created by Taylor St. Aubyn, a student at University of Cincinnati, who also serves as a State Tested Nursing Assistant at Siena Gardens, a Foundations Health skilled nursing facility in Cincinnati. Since Taylor's earliest memories, her grandfather consistently instilled in her the importance of strength. He imparted lessons on love and caring for others, particularly during challenging times. It wasn't until Taylor's grandfather fell ill with dementia that she truly grasped the significance of these teachings. Witnessing his journey, Taylor came to understand the crucial role of support, love, and compassion, not only for him but also for those in his immediate circle. Inspired by her mother and Nana, these life events and lessons led her to form Plaid for Pops to give a local memory care unit some extra love around the holidays by making blankets for the residents.

"I'm blown away by these students," said Melissa Benge, Regional Director of Business Development. "To think that in the midst of the stress of school, finals week, jobs, and active community lives, these students showed up smiling and ready to serve."



After the blankets were given out, the group circled back and reviewed the day with the Venetians and Foundations teams reviewing the significance of the day while planning the next event where the students will be having an activity with the residents, teaching them how to make bracelets themselves. These events fit nicely with the group's goal for 2024 - to ensure a stronger feeling of community between group members, and to promote a stronger connection between residents and club members in new facilities.

"Whatever these students want to do, I'm in. There hearts and minds were pure. They just wanted to make the residents smile." said Levi Lunsford, from the Foundations support team. He continued, "One of the most incredible moments of the day was after we left the dementia unit. As we headed back to recap what happened, I saw two students hugging each other and crying. Their hearts had been strengthened today. It's funny though; I think they know they changed the resident's lives today, but they don't realize they inspired us, too. There's just something about the energy they brought to our nursing home today. It's contagious. And I can't wait for the next event."

If you think Venetian Gardens might be the right place for your loved one, contact us today. Also, if you would like to learn more about, or support Plaid for Pops, click the button below!

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