Bowling Green State University
“What I enjoyed most about my internship experience was actually getting to know the individuals and observe the impact that we, as gerontology professionals, can have on these older adults.”
Completing my internship at Wood County Adult Protective Services (APS) was a very exciting and educational opportunity. As a non-traditional student who has been in the gerontology field for over 17 years I had referred clients to their investigators, but to actually take their cases hands on and explore options for the clients was an eye-opening experience. During the internship I was able to utilize my familiarity of the resources available throughout the county and the knowledge I had gained in my course work through the Bowling Green State University’s Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Gerontology Program.
I learned as an APS investigator you must put your feelings aside in determining if there is a case of neglect, exploitation or abuse; in most cases there is a fine line between personal choice and actual elder abuse. It is important for the investigators to be knowledgeable in the field work to make the necessary decisions for determining if the call of concern is an actual case of elder abuse.
I had the opportunity to observe both a criminal court case of exploitation and a guardianship court case during my internship. I went on numerous home visits, some were new reports and a number of them were follow-ups. I attended planning committee meetings for the Elder Abuse Awareness Day which will be held in June at the local Senior Center. But what I enjoyed most about my internship experience was actually getting to know the individuals and observe the impact that we, as gerontology professionals, can have on these older adults.
Participating in the the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program, in addition to my internship, provided me the opportunity to network with other students and individuals at the state level. I appreciated the information provided about state level programs and how these programs ensure direct service providers have the necessary resources to deliver essential services to the older adults throughout the state. I was honored to be selected as a 2017 Ohio Scholar in Aging!