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Assistance to the Elderly and Residential Plaza strengthen partnerships with West Coast University to bring more services and care to low-income older adults in Miami-Dade.

The need for adequate services and care for low-income older adults in Miami-Dade is pressing with 16% of Miami-Dade’s population 65+ years old, higher than the national average of 15.6%, as per the U.S. Census Bureau.

Assistance to the Elderly and Residential Plaza has established a successful strategic alliance with West Coast University through the Externship Program. The Externship Program provides students with the opportunity to earn academic credits through a planned work experience bringing care and services to the residents at Residential Plaza’s Memory Care Program.

“At West Coast University, we aspire to make a difference in our community. It has been a privilege to have our students serve the community members of Residential Plaza. The students have had the opportunity to grow as professionals and give back to the community, all which contribute to their success”, commented West Coast university Clinical Education Department.

“By allowing higher-level education students experience the day-to-day in our Memory Care Program, they get to face the challenges and identify opportunities. The Externship Program gives the students a new perspective, and our Staff information and inspiration to re-frame our work,” said Barbara Galindo, Residential Plaza’s Administrator.

Together we are stronger, and only by creating strategic alliances, we will be able to bring quality care and services to the most vulnerable in our communities. Miami-Dade’s demographics and its specific needs are shaping and forging the way healthcare its conceived and delivered. Today more than ever, the concept of collective work gains relevance to create a diverse and inclusive community.


About Assistance to the Elderly

Assistance to the Elderly, Inc. is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization that owns Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon, a licensed assisted living and memory care community. Assistance to the Elderly, Inc. enables low-to-moderate income vulnerable adults to lead meaningful and dignified lives by providing safe supportive housing, quality services, community education, and advocacy.  For more information visit:

About Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon

Residential Plaza provides an affordable home with assisted living services allowing 350 older adults to live in a safe, caring and supportive environment while maintaining their dignity, independence, and purpose. For more information visit:

About Residential Plaza’s Memory Care Program

Residential Plaza’s Memory Care Program provides an affordable 24-hour specialized care, based on the Montessori for Aging and Dementia Program, in a home-like environment for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia-related disorders.

About West Coast University

The goal of our programs is to help you graduate with the confidence and qualifications to begin or further your healthcare career from WCU. For over 100 years, WCU has been focused on creating a positive learning experience for every student. We have exceptional faculty, accredited curriculum and a wide variety of support and resources for each student.