Nicole Yozwiak

University of Youngstown
Briarfield/Brookdale Senior Living

Summer 2015

“There are many great programs that are taking place in Ohio and being able to meet and speak with these individuals helped bring everything into perspective.”

My internship consisted of shadowing different departments at Briarfield, which provides rehabilitation, elder care, and senior living.  Throughout this experience, I worked with human resources, their corporate billing office, and social services.  I experienced the importance of collaborating between the departments in order to achieve one goal: providing the best care to each individual resident.

On the other hand, I am currently employed at one of Brookdale Senior Living’s communities as the administrative assistant at an assisted living community. Without this job opportunity, I would have never been able to learn everything that I know today.   Throughout this experience, I have learned the importance of teamwork and how everyone’s job is an essential part of operating a senior living community.  Also, no matter how long you work in the senior population, there will always be something new to learn and take away from the elderly.

I enjoyed having both experiences and being able to compare not only how a locally owned senior living facility runs vs. a corporation, but also witness a larger facility with skilled care vs. a smaller community while only provides assisted living care.  I also gained experience in Medicaid and speaking with different insurance companies.  It is not always easy working with outside companies, but that is an essential part of operating a successful business.

One of my big take-away points from being a part of the Ohio Department of Aging Scholars program would have to be gaining an understanding of what programs the state provides for the elderly.  There are many great programs that are taking place in Ohio and being able to meet and speak with these individuals helped bring everything into perspective.  I have learned how the state provides to each county and ideas to bring back home and implement in the senior living communities.