Staying Happy & Healthy Along Life's Journey


Staying Happy & Healthy Along Life's Journey


Publication Date


Community Partner

Journey's Way, Resources & Programs for People 55+, A Division of Intercommunity Action, Inc.

Community Preceptors

Rebecca Kochman, MSW, Contance Voight, Ashley Harker

Academic Preceptors

Oliver Bullock, DO, Ronald Allen, MHA


Philadelphia, PA


Elder Health & Senior Quality of Life, Health Communication, Heart Disease & Stroke, Oral Health, Physical Activity & Fitness


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion


Project Summary

At Journey’s Way, BTG interns created and presented weekly wellness seminars on:

  • Hand washing
  • Foot care
  • Skin care
  • Arthritis
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Oral health

Strategies & Observations

  • Brief health seminar presentations with focus on discussion to maximize participant engagement
  • Interactive environments helped reinforce participants’ retention of health information
  • Working one-on-one with participants with mild to moderate dementia, the interns learned many are capable of talking about current events, remembering discussions from the previous week, and of looking forward to participating in a variety of activities
  • Interns were able to observe first-hand the wide-range of older adults’ mental and physical capabilities, to understand how unique the physiological, psychological, and physical care for such a population can be, and the fact that many still enjoy quality of life at Journey’s Way despite their cognitive impairments
  • Interns observed what a shame it would be for a healthcare professional or caretaker to discredit the abilities of older people

Personal Statements

"This internship experience helped me realize the type of medicine I want to practice as a physician. More recent experiences including my internship at Journey's Way seem to be guiding me to a career incorporating/orchestrating long-term care for patients. Lessons learned from the participants were truly invaluable as they helped me identify critical aspects of end-of-life care I ought to be more attuned to if I am to promote a better quality of life for my future patients. - Shaun Najarian

"Interning at Journey's Way was a priceless learning experience that drastically changed the way I view the aging population. Before, I did not fully comprehend the challenges seniors face with access to healthcare, housing, food, and other resources. I now have a better understanding of their lives, their challenges, and how I can shape my healthcare practice to meet the needs of older people. I learned spending a little extra time to listen to someone's story, offer advice, or help someone with a simple task can mean the world – and builds trust and respect in relationships. BTG far surpassed my expectations; I gained more than I have given. The meaningful relationships with participants and staff will forever have an impact on who I am as an individual and who I will be as an advocate for my patients." - Kelly Johnson

Staying Happy & Healthy Along Life's Journey