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This day care for people with dementia is run entirely by college students

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This day care for people with dementia is run entirely by college students

WATCH | At TimeOut @ UCLA, college students take care of people with dementia so their caregivers can take a break.

For people like Carol Rosenstein, who cares for her husband with dementia full-time, finding a program like TimeOut @ UCLA was the respite she needed.

Rosentein's husband, Irwin, is one of about 12 people participating in TimeOut @ UCLA on the Thursday afternoon when we visited.

TimeOut is a free day care run entirely by UCLA college students twice a week, with each session running three hours.

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At TimeOut, the elderly engage in conversation or, in this case, some coloring, with college students at UCLA.

The program

The program is made possible through the Eisner Foundation, UCLA's Division of Geriatrics and Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's,  a national organization dedicated to promoting understanding of Alzheimer's.

During the sessions, participants play games, color or just talk to volunteers.

"Caregivers are the unsung heroes of dementia," says Dr. Zaldy Tan, who leads the program. "A lot of caregivers don't have time for themselves."

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Max Goodman, who volunteers every week, says he learns something new every week. One of the women he spoke to is the niece of the illustrator for "Bambi."

The volunteers

Max Goodman is a freshman at UCLA whose interest in medicine led him to TimeOut.

"I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I have. And I look forward to it every week because I seem to learn something new," Goodman said. He's just one of a roster of students that take time during the week to walk to the bungalow on campus where the day care takes place.

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Carol Rosenstein gets emotional when talking about what it means to take care of her husband, who has Parkinson's disease and dementia, after so many years of him caring for her as her "queen."

The caregivers

The people who may benefit the most from this program may not even be in the room, says Dr. Zaldy Tan.

Some caregivers are so busy taking care of their loved one with dementia that they don't have time for simple things like their own doctor's appointments. 

Carol Rosenstein knows this all too well.

I've been his queen for 33 years, and he's taken care of me. And now it's give back time.
Carol Rosenstein

"I really do enjoy taking care of my Irwin," says Rosenstein, "but I'm glad when the end of the day comes and I get to rest."

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Between games of "Uno" and "Sorry!",  these UCLA students find ways to keep TimeOut participants entertained.

Dementia and Alzheimer's

The participants at TimeOut are either in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer's, a  common form of dementia.

Dementia is a disease that affects more than 5 million people according to the Alzheimer's Association, and while on the decline, it usually affects people in their 60s.

TimeOut @ UCLA started three years ago with support from the Eisner Foundation.

How to help

You can donate to Youth Movement Against Azlheimer's by clicking here.

For more Circa Cares stories, visit circacares.com.

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