Shawnee State University
It has been such a privilege to be a part of such a great organization and I am very thankful for the opportunity. I have learned a lot about myself, the Ohio Department of Aging, and the dire need for change in regulations and policies directly affecting the rapidly aging population. Through the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program, I have learned how the Ohio Department of Aging is multi-faceted, and has various divisions within the organization, which are responsible for seeing that the older adult population is receiving and has access to the services they so desperately need. I also met so many great people who share the same passion I have for older adults. Those relationships have been so important to me and will last the rest of my life. From this experience, I am considering ways in which I can get involved in advocating for and representing older adults, whether it be working for ODA, AAA etc.
From my clinical experiences, I have learned the value of and importance of what I was doing at each different site. I think my experience has been especially unique because of the area and population I served. The population I served was in the rural Appalachia region of southern Ohio. It is a very underserved and impoverished area. I feel very fortunate to provide free, yet necessary, services. It has been a very rewarding yet challenging experience. From the multiple experiences I had, I learned the importance of communication and teamwork across various settings in which older adults reside. These included older driver safety and community mobility, fall prevention, home modification, aging in place, and dementia care. From participating in my clinicals as well as the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program, I have learned valuable information which I will carry with me throughout my career and the rest of my life.