LOMBARD, IL — More than 7,000 people will turn 65 each day this year, and in the state of Illinois, 12.5 percent of the population is 65 or older. As these numbers surge, so does demand for employees with expertise in working with the senior population. Beacon Hill and Dominican University have partnered to prepare students for working with older adults. Students will learn through firsthand experience during internships at Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is a not-for-profit senior living community located at 2400 S. Finley Rd. in Lombard, Ill., and is owned and operated by Lifespace Communities, Inc.
“With the growing senior population, many of our students have expressed interest in working with seniors once they graduate from our program,” said Elizabeth DeAvilla, Assessment Coordinator and Dietetic Intern Preceptor at Dominican University in River Forest, Ill. “We strive for our programs to develop our students for their careers and help local organizations like Beacon Hill.”
The interns work in conjunction with the community’s licensed registered dietitian to provide individual nutrition consultations for residents. They guide grocery store tours, help create grocery lists and inform residents about diets to meet specific health needs, such as high-fiber or low-sugar diets. The interns also create presentations and design meal plans for staff members.
“We’re thrilled for the opportunity to work with students from Dominican University,” said Beacon Hill Wellness Coordinator Marisol Vazquez. “The students are learning in a real-life environment, and our staff and residents are enjoying the health benefits of them being here. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership.”
The internship program is an extension of Beacon Hill’s FitSixSM Wellness Program, which focuses on wellness of the body, mind and spirit for residents.
“The FitSix Wellness Program encompasses six dimensions of wellness,” Vazquez said. “We provide a variety of activities through the program, and this partnership with Dominican University is another outlet for us to help our residents accomplish their wellness goals.”
The interns are students preparing to take board examinations to become licensed registered dietitians, and are pursuing their master’s degrees in business from Dominican University. Two interns work with the community at one time, and every six weeks two new interns rotate in.
ABOUT BEACON HILL
Beacon Hill, located at 2400 S. Finley Rd. in Lombard, Ill., is owned and operated by Lifespace Communities, Inc., a not-for-profit company with 35 years of experience in senior living. The Life Care community provides senior adults with a unique lifestyle experience and a variety of residential options, including 388 maintenance-free apartment homes. Skilled nursing suites are also available as part of the full continuum of care. Residents enjoy a full range of services and amenities, such as an indoor heated pool, library, greenhouse and dining services. More information about Beacon Hill is available by calling (630) 691-4007 or by visiting www.BeaconHillLombard.com.
ABOUT LIFESPACE COMMUNITIES
Founded in 1976, Lifespace Communities, based in Des Moines, Iowa, is a not-for-profit corporation that has grown to operate 12 continuing care retirement communities in seven states, serving more than 5,000 residents and employing 2,500 team members. Communities are located in Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Florida. The organization is recognized by the LeadingAge Ziegler Top 100 as the seventh largest not-for-profit senior living provider system in the country.