Sarah Linhardt

Wright State University

2017

“Through the Ohio Scholars in Aging program I was able to interact with other students who were also learning and working in other areas of the aging system.”

During the 2016-2017 school year, I had the opportunity to Intern with the Miami Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in Dayton, Ohio. As a Masters of Arts in Social Work student at Wright State University I learned and worked within the clinical services and education departments of the Alzheimer’s Association. At the Alzheimer’s Association, I was able to facilitate support groups both for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and for their caregivers. I also provided care consultations to families affected by dementia- providing them support and information about the disease process, behavior management, interacting with the healthcare system, and community programs. I assisted in community and professional education programs, including our 2017 professional symposium, helping to provide information and awareness to both the general community and to those working in the aging system.

Additionally, while I was at the Alzheimer’s Association, I learned about the programs and systems in place to assist aging individuals and their families, as well as observing the strength and resourcefulness of those with dementia and their caregivers. I learned so much from my clients and their families, and was inspired by their tenacity and determination to do whatever they could to care for their loved ones. I also learned about how difficult the system can be to access for our clients and the importance of advocating for programs and supports that are accessible and suited to the needs of our clients.

Through the Ohio Scholars in Aging program I was able to interact with other students who were also learning and working in other areas of the aging system. Additionally, I learned how legislation and policy is created, and through interaction with the Ohio Department of Aging understand much more completely the goals and objectives of the programs that exist in Ohio to assist seniors. It served to greatly enhance my experience at the Alzheimer’s Association by providing me access to excellent networking opportunities and exposure to policy and program creation on a macro level.