The College of Health Professionals of Pacific University in collaboration with the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, a non-profit organization, completed its seventh annual visit to Nicaragua in December 2013. An interprofessional team of Pacific University students and faculty from the audiology, dental health sciences, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and psychology programs provided direct services to Nicaraguan older adults, older adult home staff, and caregivers. The team worked with Nicaraguan gerontologist and physician Dr. Milton Lopez, as well as local caregiver staff to provide care to residents at Hogar de Ancianos Dr Agustin Sanchez Vigil, in Jinotepe, and Hogar de Ancianos San Vincente de Paul in Jinotega.
The team prepared for the ten day, out of country trip through fundraising events, donation gathering, marketing, and educating local community members about this rare opportunity to provide care for elders in Nicaragua. Upon return, the occupational therapy student team worked diligently to further develop the interprofessional team relationship, develop educational materials for future implementation in provider workshops, create evidenced-based activities for caregiver staff, administrators and community members to use with older adults, create preparatory documents to aid student understanding of the trip goals, as well as presented culminated work to interprofessional health provider audiences across the campus. The goal of this project is to assist each older adult home in becoming self-sufficient in providing adequate health care to every one of its residents.
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