On November 7, the Des Moines University Geriatrics Club hosted our annual “50 and Better” Senior Health Fair on campus. More than 200 student volunteers participated, and vendors from all over Des Moines were represented at the event. We had more than 250 seniors come to DMU to get their cholesterol and glucose screens, bone density scans, vision screenings and more! The question really is what’s NOT to love about the Senior Health Fair, but we’ve narrowed it down to three things that we DID love the most!
1. Student interaction with the geriatric population
It was so awesome seeing students communicate and interact with the fair attendees. Although it’s hard sometimes to see the light at the end of the very dim tunnel of constant studying, it’s great to take a break from the books and remember why many of us went into medicine in the first place: to talk to people and help develop health awareness. Many of our future patients will fall into the geriatric age group and getting early exposure is so helpful — plus it’s fun!
2. Interprofessional participation
The Senior Health Fair is one of the few events throughout the year in which all colleges contribute. In addition, many clubs paired together to host booths, like ACOFP and AMSA with dancing and aerobics activities. We saw some pretty awesome moves out there! DMU is a multi-faceted healthcare institution, and seeing everyone participate in bringing out the skills of their profession really showcases the purpose of our institution: to provide well rounded, complete care to our future patients.
Whether it’s what they ate for breakfast or what interesting medical problem they have, so many of our participants have fascinating stories to tell, and the only thing they need are willing ears to listen!
Personally, I feel that working with the geriatric population gives insight into the previous generation and their life experiences. Seeing their respect and appreciation for health care providers and excitement for new learners is inspiring, and gives me motivation to become a better health provider. I also think it’s important to give back to those who have done so much for our current world, and remind them that they’re valued and important to us. There is much that we can learn from them, if we just take the opportunity to listen and reflect.
To view more photos from this year’s Senior Health Fair, visit our Facebook album.