OGDEN -- Using the power of touch, a group of local college students brought comfort and relaxation to Top of Utah veterans.
Students from the massage program at Broadview University in Layton paid a visit Saturday to the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home.
Using care techniques and geriatric massage, the students provided veterans with hand, arm, neck, shoulder and foot massages.
Kelley Sloan, chairwoman of Broadview's massage therapy program, said the massage work helps the veterans' joint mobility, improves blood flow and provides an overall sense of relaxation.
But she said the massages were only part of the reason the students came to the nursing home.
"We've been visiting veterans for the past three years, and we love it," Sloan said.
"Our students will tell you they probably get more out of it than the veterans do. We're providing more than just massages -- we're being listeners and friends."
Although many veterans in nursing homes regularly see their families, loneliness and isolation can still creep in, Sloan said.
"Hopefully, we can provide a diversion for them and make their day a little more enjoyable."
Art Keeley, an 85-year-old resident, said he was happy to see the college visitors.
"It's always nice to have people come and visit with us," he said.
"My family is scattered all over the place, so they can't come around as often as they'd like. It's nice to have some new people to talk to and see some new faces."
Sloan said the massages take about 20 minutes and the students provided them to any resident who wanted one.
After massages were finished, the Broadview students even sat down for a few rounds of bingo with the veterans.
"I absolutely love this," said April Geffre, a student at Broadview since June 2010.
"This is kind of why I got into massage. It's great to be here with these vets and hear about their military history and take in all the wisdom that they have to offer."