As linkAges expands in 2015, it will now be available as a community resource to all Palo Alto Medical Foundation patients. To support this expansion, four college students joined the Innovation Center team as the newest cohort of linkAges Advocates!
This second group of Advocates, from Santa Clara University, comes aboard after last summer’s pilot internship program, and their primary focus will be to engage our patient population with using linkAges as a community resource to support well-being. The Advocates will support linkAges TimeBank members by showing them various features of the TimeBank, facilitating exchanges, and suggesting offers and requests based on the member’s interests and needs. They will also be providing technology help at the Sunnyvale and Mountain View Senior Centers in response to last summer’s overwhelmingly positive feedback from the older adults who participated in tech help sessions.
Last weekend, the Advocates participated in an extensive training with healthcare professionals and community leaders. They learned about motivational interviewing and how to effectively communicate with older adults. In one of the sessions on technology training for seniors, the moderator had them wear special glasses and insert cotton balls in their ears to simulate physical limitations and teach them about the challenges many seniors face as they go about their daily life. The Advocates also role-played various enrollment scenarios and engaged in mock service-exchanges to get familiar with the linkAges TimeBank.
The Advocates will be stationed at the Community Health Resource Centers (CHRC) at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation clinics in Mountain View and Palo Alto where they will support enrollment of patients in the linkAges TimeBank and help new members create personalized linkAges plans. Individuals use these plans to set goals and optimize their use and experience of the linkAges system, with the Advocates available for assistance at every step of the way. Meanwhile, physicians are referring patients they think could benefit from becoming a member of the TimeBank. These include newly relocated community members, patients interested in increasing their connections to their community through service exchanges, seniors and family caregivers.
Stop by the CHRCs to meet the Advocates and learn more about the exciting work they’re doing in the community! You can find them at the Mountain View location every Monday from 1:30-4:30 PM and at the Palo Alto location every first and third Tuesday from 9:00-11:30 AM, as well as every second and fourth Monday from 1:30-4:30 PM.