Emilee Smith

Shawnee State University

2017

“I strongly encourage those interested in working with this population to participate in this fantastic program to obtain knowledge from various areas of the field.”

It has been an absolute honor being part of the Ohio Scholars in Aging program, and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity. Throughout the program, I have learned a great deal of information regarding the Ohio Department of Aging and the policies and procedures necessary to provide adequate care for the quickly growing older adult population. The program provided me with opportunities to network with policy makers and other professionals in the aging field, deepening my knowledge base and understanding of the many challenges this population faces. It is crucial that our cohort take what we have learned and implement it into our careers and lives to improve quality of care. It was very humbling to have been associated with many peers who share the same passion and understanding of the importance of caring for our growing older adult population.

As a second year Master of Occupational Therapy student at Shawnee State, I was able to provide a unique perspective on older adult care through the eyes of a clinician. Participating in Music and Memory, Senior Home Inspection Program (SHIP), CarFit, Matter of Balance, Dementia Care project, and fieldwork at a skilled nursing facility has ultimately prepared me to provide sufficient occupational therapy care to older adults. My clinical experience has also taught me not only the value of occupational therapy but also the importance of community mobility, fall prevention, home modification, dementia care, and gaining in place in the older adult population. Providing these free and vital services to the community of Southern Ohio has been a gratifying experience that I am very thankful to have been a part of.

I have learned from these clinical experiences and the Ohio Scholars in Aging program that working as a team is essential to facing the many challenges that older adults encounter. This program also provided me with the support and increased knowledge base to ensure that working with older adults is exactly where I see my future career going. I strongly encourage those interested in working with this population to participate in this fantastic program to obtain knowledge from various areas of the field.