Devon Jones

Case Western Reserve University
2020

“Programs such as this encourage students to learn from and engage with a growing yet vulnerable population.”

In December 2017 Case Western Reserve University and the Jewish Family Service Association created an Interprofessional program to train medical, social work, and physician assistant students to aid older individuals looking to age in their homes called, “Aging in Place.” Having the opportunity to participate, I decided to create a presentation/poster on the experience and present on the matter at the OAGE 2020 Conference. In the Aging in Place program, students are placed in three member teams, one from each field, and thereafter assigned a client. Over the academic year, the team conducts two home visits a month to work with clients. Prior to meeting with clients, the students are paired with professional preceptors to guide them before, during, and after their engagements and interventions with the client. Prior to every session with the client the students meet and discuss the client’s situation and the next steps to take to ensure the best quality care is given. After each meeting, the group meets and fills out assessments that document performance and tracking progress.

Having the opportunity to work directly with clients while also working with professionals allowed me to learn while actively doing. Which, in this case was the best teacher because it allowed for hands on instruction and interaction. The Aging in Place Interprofessional Experience allowed me to interact with students from other medical professions as well as gave me a glimpse into other professions and how they may address a particular issue in comparison to my field or profession. These interactions helped develop skills key to providing quality care to aging individuals, such as engagement and assessment strategies. With the supervision, workshops, and team assessments, there has been various opportunities to improve upon skills needed for the best care to be given. Programs such as this encourage students to learn from and engage with a growing yet vulnerable population. Experiences like this help place the important work as professionals we do, and how the work we conduct can be the difference between life and death. I hope to participate next year in the program to further develop those important skills.