Texas high school students help connect nursing home residents with family members

Hays

BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — High school students are helping people in memory care facilities connect with their loved ones. Since the start of the semester, they’ve been building visitation stations for nursing home facilities.

“This is out love letter to memory care facilities,” said Catherine Campbell, executive director of Alzheimer’s Texas.

High school students built the stations for memory care communities through a partnership with Alzheimer’s Texas, Austin Design Voice Chapter of American Institute of Architecture and Texas Workforce Solutions Capital Area.

Students at KIPP Charter Schools helped build the visitation stations. (KXAN Photo/Kaitlyn Karmout)

Campbell is the brains behind the stations. She came up with the idea to create a visitation station at the start of COVID-19 when nursing homes went into lockdown.

Campbell’s nonprofit organizations got $25,000 from the Alzheimer’s Foundation to provide Alzheimer’s education to high school students and supply funds for the building materials.

“Now that the semester is over, we’re seeing the results and delivering them to memory care facilities,” Campbell said.

“It holds a special meaning for the students. They really took pride in having something to do with it,” said Bobby Vasquez, coordinator for the KIPP program.

Bobby Vasquez helped the KIPP schools bring the vision board to life by teaching students how to create the stations. He says once the design was created, it took a week to build the station from scratch.

“The residents here face been loved and cared for by the staff, but they do miss their loved ones. They miss their family,” said Laura Dutton, marketing director for Sodalis Buda Senior Living.

Dutton’s memory care facility is one of the seven to receive a visitation station. As it stands, only family members with a negative COVID-19 test can enter the facility. Generally that access doesn’t include anyone outside of essential family members.

“They can now comes outside, and perhaps two grandkids can come visit,” Dutton said. “It’ll just open it up to more family members and friends.”

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