HCAB Comes To Allen House
Springhouse Senior Living welcomes the Harvard College Alzheimer’s Buddies Program (HCAB) to our Allen House neighborhood. The program matches a college student with a resident who they visit once a week for an hour. HCAB is in it’s 6th year and has become the fastest growing volunteer program for the elderly in Harvard’s history. Eight undergraduate students from Harvard College will be matched with eight residents in Allen House.
HCAB was created in response to the profound isolation and social disengagement experienced by people in the intermediate-to-late-stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Their goal is to build meaningful emotional connections with dementia residents meeting weekly during one-on-one visits. They focus on what is still present in our buddies and improving the life that they have despite limitations.
The volunteers build friendships through their regular visits and a trust that can inspire hope. They come with energy, a loving smile, a caring touch and wanting to really know our buddies.
College students and dementia residents are not that different–they and their families are both undergoing major transitions in their lives during which time they must reassess priorities and cope with new challenges. With dementia, the transitions can be devastating.