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College Students Spend Spring Break With Elderly Patients With Dementia

By Joel Hillan

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - A group of students from the University of Miami traded in spring break at the beach for an opportunity to help out at a memory care facility in Aurora.

At the end of the week of service, they spent the day selecting a senior with whom they felt a connection and creating a painting that represented them and their experience together.

"It's been a wonderful day, it really has been," one of the seniors told CBS4.


The students came here to serve these elders, but quickly found out their new friends had much to offer them.

"A lot of times we have lunch with them and just kind of hang out with them and we get to share our stories and also hear from them," said Josephine Pittman, a sophomore studying music therapy and psychology.


"A lot of the elders that we work with here are veterans and so it's interesting to hear their stories about what it was like in World War II and what it was like to be serving in Vietnam, the draft process, all kinds of things that I have learned," said Jay Shroff, a sophomore studying biology he hopes to become doctor.

This was a unique spring break experience the students won't soon forget.


"They have had more of an impact on me than I would have realized and I'm so thankful that I came on this trip," said Amanda Lorenzo, a junior studying biology who also hopes to become a doctor.

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Memory facility Chelsea Place set up a small gallery to showcase the works the students and residents created together and sipped on sparkling cider.

The students got to visit Eldora earlier in the week and will end the trip with a visit to Denver before catching a flight back to Miami.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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