Senior Health Link (SHL) is a unique program founded in 1989 to provide health assessment, instruction, promotion and maintenance to the elderly in Chester County while providing a community health clinical experience for area nursing students.

SHL's mission is to:
  • Promote optimal health and independence for the elderly
  • Facilitate elderly clients remaining in their own home as long as possible
  • Facilitate outreach to low-income and Hispanic elderly
  • Promote fall prevention and home safety measures to prevent accidents
  • Prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, lack of treatment, and poly-pharmacy
  • Provide quality education and professional growth for health care students
  • Increase cultural awareness and intergenerational understanding for health care students

SHL is a free outreach program which relies on grants, donations and financial support by our parent company, Neighborhood Health/Penn Medicine. In addition, SHL provides a setting for collaborative practice in community health nursing. Agency nurses, nursing school faculty, student nurses, and the county health department cooperate to provide free nursing care and assessments to the elderly.

SHL is a three-pronged program that includes the following elements: 
  • The Home Visit Program provides a clinical home nursing practicum for upper-level nursing students as they visit SHL clients in their homes 
  • The Information Hotline, a dedicated telephone line available to the general public which enables SHL staff to answer questions, make referrals, and teach about health issues
  • And, the Outreach Program, in which the SHL nursing staff, often with the assistance of the nursing students, carry out community-based screenings for high blood pressure, fall risk, hydration; conduct  Matter of Balance Fall Prevention programs; provide education on other health-related topics, conduct Flu immunizations clinics and facilitate a Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

These programs are offered at senior living facilities, low-income housing facilities, senior centers, churches, YMCA's and to civic groups throughout Chester County.

SHL clients are older adults who have been recently discharged from home care or the hospital, have chronic diseases, or are no longer eligible for insured home care, but who still need occasional monitoring and educational reinforcement to maintain their independence. In addition, SHL serves low-income and Hispanic elderly individuals who have limited access to health resources and/or lack transportation. During a home visit, nursing students assess clients’ physical, emotional, mental and nutritional status, provide medication teaching, resources and referrals, survey the safety of the home, the clients’ level of independence, their compliance with medication instructions, and the caregivers’ emotional status. Students also assist the SHL nursing staff with a variety of health clinics.