Building relationships through caring and fun


SUMMARY: Reflections on the Caregivers Community Network by JMU students - Spring 2018

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During the course of my visits, I learned to appreciate a person's vulnerability and the family's ability to teach me how to appreciate life and to fight through whatever it is that you have to go through.  I also learned that I definitely want to influence policy so that caregivers are cared for as well.
~ Zenobia Lee-Nelson, Freshman, Psychology

I had no idea that depression rates also increase with age.  I couldn't have told you that some elders struggle with self confidence and need reassurance, much like a young adolescent might.  I had no idea that sometimes they just want to know that someone cares, that they have someone listening, and that someone thinks they are important.  My senior taught me to stop viewing elders as a spreadsheet of medical information and to care about people, to have compassion, and to be optimistic.  She taught me how to differentiate between the important and the not so important things.  She gave me a new view of geriatric patients and changed how I want to treat them as well.
~ Lauren Osborn, Sophomore, Health Science/Pre-Med

This class gave me the chance to see there is a huge difference between being told about an illness and how people are affected by it and actually sitting face to face with someone every week for a semester with that illness.
~ Meghan Calcagno, Sophomore, Nursing

The 'class' stopped being a class after the first visit because we decided then and there that it would be more than a class.  It was a relationship; it was friendship with love and presence of heart.
~ Tyler Goerl, Senior, Psychology

I learned about the comfort of silence.  I feel like a lot of bonding can happen during silence especially when our senior enjoyed simplicity and silence which I learned to respect and understand as our visits progressed.
~ Sarah Hornung, Sophomore, Nursing

I now understand that sometimes your presence is more than enough to have a positive impact on a person's day.
~ Taneal Miller, Sophomore, Health Sciences Administration

I learned patience and kindness, and how to not underestimate what people are truly capable of.  Never in my whole life have I been patient.  I always have to be non-stop going, and I never slow down to really enjoy something.  Our home visits gave me the time to really sit down and take a moment to breathe.  Our senior had Parkinson's disease, and when we took walks with him, I couldn't power walk my way like I normally do.  I had to take time to smell the roses... literally
~ Breonna Bibb, Senior, Health Sciences

CCN has definitely been the greatest gift to me, not only to my semester this year, but for my college career as a whole.  It's been an experience that forced me to go outside the classroom and my comfort zone in order to see the larger picture of a wonderful community of people that surrounds us.  CCN allows us to learn about life and people.  I've learned that love matters, people take note and are changed by it.
~ Alexa Millman, Junior, Health Sciences

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Published: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

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