“I learned that hard work does pay off and can make a difference. Since completing this project, I am able to meet the needs of individuals who call into the AAMVC and happen to need names of transportation agencies that can assist them or their loved one. “
My internship for Fall Semester 2013 with the Greater Miami Valley Joint MASW Program in Dayton, Ohio was with the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter (AAMVC) located at 31 W. Whipp Road in Kettering, Ohio. The project that I worked on with the Alzheimer’s Association was a transportation project, where I would update information about all the transportation agencies serving older adults in the Miami Valley area. The nine counties that I covered were Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, Darke, Greene, Logan, Clark and Champaign. This project also focused on finding out information about scheduling and evaluation processes and how accessible transportation programs were to individuals with early onset dementia and those with early stage dementia.
The AAMVC was interested in having me complete this project because it would become a useful resource at the agency and it would bring attention to the needs of individuals with early onset dementia who are under the age of 65, but due to the disease and its symptoms effect on individuals driving abilities, find it difficult to continue driving and need alternative transportation resources to fill the gap. The details of the project changed a few times through the course of the internship, but the overall focus did not change. Instead of just compiling a list of names of agencies and their contact information, I also included personal stories of those living with dementia at an early age, in my PowerPoint presentation. This allowed them to have a voice in the making of this project and offered a different point of view, since they are the ones who would be utilizing the services.
The largest obstacle faced was getting a hold of the agencies. Some places would answer right away and provide the information I asked of them, but I had to leave voice messages on many others and wait for their phone calls. I was playing phone tag many of the days. Another obstacle was compiling all of the information. It was a lot of information to organize. I went from using Microsoft Excel Software to making a transportation directory on Microsoft Word. While calling the transportation agencies, I received invitations from other mobility managers to attend their meetings and present this project to them. I also was given the opportunity to present this information to the AAMVC as a resource and also to disseminate the information to all of the agencies that I spoke with. I learned that hard work does pay off and can make a difference. Since completing this project, I am able to meet the needs of individuals who call into the AAMVC and happen to need names of transportation agencies that can assist them or their loved one. This internship with the ODA and OAGE gave me the opportunity to pursue this project and also to learn more about advocacy at a public policy level. I was very blessed to have this opportunity and recommend it highly.