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Nursing students to lead free health fairs for seniors

RELEASED: June 18, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire nursing students, in partnership with Oakwood Homes and London Square apartments in Eau Claire, will provide two free health care fairs for seniors June 22. The fairs will be held simultaneously from 1-3 p.m. in the community room of Oakwood Homes Apartments, 3802 Damon St., and in the community room of London Square Apartments, 3300 London Road.

The health fairs, which are free and open to the community, will include familiar health topics as well as new ones, including purchasing inexpensive yet healthful meals, setting up an e-mail account to stay in contact with relative and friends, and the importance of remaining involved and active. There also will be information about yoga, massage and relaxation, and suggestions for how to exercise the mind and body.

"This is a great opportunity for seniors to learn something that can help them achieve better health and have fun doing it," said Ginny Close, manager of both apartment complexes. "It's really a win-win because the student nurses also get to experience working with seniors, especially seniors who are living independently. Their needs are different from people in nursing homes."

The health fairs were developed by nursing students in the class "Foundations of Professional Nursing Care," taught by Dr. Lee Ellen Kirkhorn and Catherine Berry, who will supervise the students at the fairs. The students are enrolled in UW-Eau Claire's accelerated nursing program for individuals who have a degree in another field and who now wish to earn a nursing bachelor's degree. Their intense summer program includes a focus on communication, collection of health histories, and teaching and learning, Kirkhorn said.

For more information about the health fairs, contact Dr. Lee Ellen Kirkhorn at 715-836-5005 or kirkholc@uwec.edu or Catherine Berry at 715-836-4991 or berrycm@uwec.edu.

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JP/AH

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