Ohio State University
While the majority of Scholars completed internships this past semester, my experience as a gerontology student has been slightly different. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Social Work at The Ohio State University and have been preparing to take my candidacy exam in the summer of 2018. At the start of the Scholars program, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have much to contribute since I was not completing a formal internship. As it turns out, applying for the Scholars in Aging program was one of the best decisions I have made during my enrollment as a doctoral student.
I am an occupational therapist by trade and chose to pursue a PhD in Social Work due to social work’s holistic perspective toward addressing health problems. For my dissertation, I hope to examine how social workers can implement a fall risk screening process with home-delivered meal clients to connect older adults to community-based occupational and physical therapy (OT and PT) services. Social workers serve as experts in care coordination and may have regular access to home-delivered meal clients—a group of older adults at high risk for falls, disease and disability.
Participating in the Scholars in Aging program gave me the chance to interact with individuals who know the complexity of services that are available to older adults in Ohio. I learned about how aging network professionals determine older adults’ eligibility for home-delivered meals and the types of screening processes that currently take place. The Scholars program provided me with key information about service coordination that would have been quite challenging to obtain on my own. I cannot express how thankful I am for the Scholars program and its role in shaping the trajectory of my dissertation and future research endeavors with the older adult community in Ohio.