Town Square Partners with Monmouth University’s Occupational Therapy Program
The Town Square team is proud to be connected to the communities we serve, and we always welcome the opportunity to form an affiliation with local institutions and organizations that are also passionate about meeting the needs of people with cognitive conditions and their families. That’s why we were especially excited to partner with Monmouth University of West Long Branch, NJ and welcome talented graduate students who are pursuing doctoral degrees n occupational therapy, beginning in late spring of 2023.
As part of their fieldwork, nineteen Level I occupational therapy students at Monmouth University worked with the dementia care-trained staff at Town Square at the Jersey Shore to develop and deliver beneficial and fun new programming for our members. The students were divided into pairs for their day-long visits to get to know Town Square members on an individual level. During eight visits over the summer they presented the evidence based activities they designed. These diverse activities included themes of exercise, music, reminiscence, and social interaction. Our members loved meeting the students. There was much excitement in the air on Monmouth U Program Days and enthusiastic participation in their specially developed programming. It greatly expanded what we were able to offer our members because of the connection to community, the inter-generational program leadership, and the offering of their growing knowledge in providing meaningful activities to improve and support independent living.
We are happy to announce our work with Monmouth students has not ended there. In 2024, two occupational therapy students will be on site at our center from January through March, to complete their Level II Fieldwork Learning Experience. At that time, they will complete their in-person clinical training with our preferred therapy provider, Adaptive Home Therapy. They will work with a licensed occupational therapist in assessments, delivering treatments, and documentation. At other times they will perform screenings and develop interventions, assist with program development, and provide new community education for family caregivers of persons living with dementia. Town Square plans to build on this work by offering monthly specialty screenings for such things as memory loss, fall prevention risk, and blood pressure checks, to all members of the local community.
Additionally, from January to March, we will have two Doctoral Capstone students on site completing their Capstone Experience at Town Square. Each student has an individual research project or scholarly project to complete. One will highlight her investment in Advocacy for Persons Living with Dementia and the other will be immersed in Enhancing Social Participation. From these experiences, there will be opportunities for community education.
Furthermore, Town Square’s Monmouth University partnership has experienced other fruitful benefits with the grant proposal written by three Monmouth OT students to outfit our Marlton location with a therapeutic multisensory room. Once completed, Town Square will be able to use this addition as a template to equip our other centers with similar multisensory setups.
Given the exceptional success of this partnership to date, we look forward to collaborating with future Monmouth University students and their educators and continuing to connect their dedication and skill to our members and families. We recognize the immense value in being positioned to impact future clinicians as we work toward changing the culture of dementia care.
Contact Town Square today for more information on our reminiscence-focused adult day enrichment programming or our partnership with Monmouth University.