KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 11/20/11, 10:30 AM & Sunday, 12/27, 7:30 AM on KMSB "Fox-11 Forum."

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Anne Morrison, Director of Education, manager of the Interprofessional Senior Mentor Program at the U of A’s Arizona Center on Aging, Jeanne Feuerstein,  student at the UA College of Medicine, and Beverly Heasley, senior mentor at the Arizona Center on Aging, U of A. Beverly also owns Elder Mediation Associates.
Morrison says the goal of the senior mentor program is to expose medical students to healthy seniors in the community, so the students will develop better, more positive attitudes toward older adults. Jeanne recently was among several UA students who won scholarship awards for the Medical Student Training in Aging Research program. She is studying health issues pertaining to older patients. Heasley is her senior mentor.  She says they spend about 4 hours a month together, discussing such things as health issues and lifestyle items.  Heasley says she is learning as much from Jeanne is Jeanne said she is learning from Beverly.  

Morrison says the two year non-credit program pairs health professions students with mobile, socially active adults age 65 and older.  She says students work with their mentors on activities that will improve their knowledge of aging. She said students and mentors are also encouraged to organize individual senior/mentor activities that will allow them to learn more about each other such as: social events, hiking, museum tours, hobbies, etc.  

Morrison says in guided sessions, students learn patient-centered interviewing by performing a life review with their mentors, gain an understanding of the aging process and learn to assess patients for function, resilience and quality of life. In later sessions, she says they work in interprofessional teams, understanding the roles of health-care professionals in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, public health, social work and research and determining, as a team, treatment options for patients.