Matthew Bezold

Matthew Bezold

Matthew Bezold

The Ohio State University
Ohio Department of Aging

Summer 2015

“In addition to giving me experience as an auditor, this internship served a unique purpose in that I was able to help out the agency because I was able to work on a job that a full-time employee would work on without all of the additional complications that come with hiring a full-time employee.”

Hi, I am Matthew Bezold. My internship is with the monitoring team of the fiscal division within the Ohio Department of Aging. As part of my internship, I helped out the fiscal monitoring team complete their day to day duties and get caught back up on the monitoring calendar. This involves monitoring the AAAs. AAAs (or area agencies on aging) are the entities that administer services and programs for Ohio’s older population. Our function is to serve as assurance that the monies these agencies receive are being spent properly.

The Ohio Department of Aging was interested in having me work on this project because it is a normal part of day to day operations. In addition to giving me experience as an auditor, this internship served a unique purpose in that I was able to help out the agency because I was able to work on a job that a full-time employee would work on without all of the additional complications that come with hiring a full-time employee.

My project changed throughout the course of my internship from me learning the rules and regulations of government accounting to me actually applying these rules and regulations and making sure that the AAAs are following them. A few obstacles I faced while working on the project were the length of time that it takes for an AAA to get back to you with a response when you have a question. Also, on a more personal note, I struggled at times with time management. As this is a non-traditional internship that continues through the school year, I have to work to balance my time between work and school.

As part of this internship, I also had the opportunity to get out of the office and travel with the monitoring team to the AAA sites. This is truly a great experience because it’s always nice to get out of the office once in a while. But it’s also nice to get to talk face to face with the people you email daily. As part of this internship, I learned what all is involved in audit and some of the differences between government and corporate auditing. This knowledge is truly helpful and will help me make decisions about which career path I should choose.

Nicole Yozwiak

Nicole Yozwiak

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.

Dorothy Young

Dorothy Young

Dorothy Young

Wittenberg University
Sinclair Community College – SEEK Conference (Sharing Education, Experience, Knowledge)

Summer 2015

“None of us could accomplish the tasks set before us without the help of another, which is personified in the partnership between the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education for the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program.”

My internship afforded me a different view, a behind the scenes out of committee view, of an organization I have been a part of for the past three years as a volunteer, the College for Lifelong Learning’s SEEK Conference at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. The SEEK Conference is a day of learning built around interests of people aged sixty and over. This year marked the 13th anniversary of the program. The day starts out with a special motivational speaker followed by two 40 minute breakout sessions that include seven learning opportunities, then lunch, followed by two more 40 minute breakout sessions, and finally another special speaker to close the learning day.

Participants pay $5 for the day made possible through sponsorships garnered from area businesses, agencies, or individuals. Asking for financial support was a big challenge for me – I was only able to get one agency sponsorship and more would have been appreciated. One of the favorite parts of the day for participants is the door prize drawings done at lunch and at the end of the day, the prizes are donated by area businesses. The best thing about the conference to me, it enabled nearly 400 participants to continue in a culture of lifelong learning, either for the day or maybe for the rest of their life.

I thought the internship was just going to be more of what I had done in the past as a volunteer, but quickly realized there was much more in store. The saying trial by fire is very fitting for my time. Much of my time was spent alone in the office calling and registering participants, speaking with presenters getting descriptions of the presentation and the speaker bios for their introduction in their breakout session, as well as contacting sponsors. The challenge was being able to get that work done while our students came in person to register for the conference or handle other class issues (which I did not have clearance to do) so at times I met with vented frustration from our clients. That was difficult because all I wanted to do was help them figure things out, even if it had nothing to do with SEEK.

The rest of my time was spent organizing seventeen Sociology students to prepare goodie bags for the participants, and work throughout the day as hosts/hostesses – service learning that was counted toward their final grade for the semester. I believe the agency wanted to give me an opportunity to network and have another set of trusted hands to organize the day.
I have enjoyed this opportunity immensely. I have learned to embrace networking even at the ripe old age of 49. I have been reminded once again how vital team work is in an organization, as was mentioned in each of the scholar’s presentations. None of us could accomplish the tasks set before us without the help of another, which is personified in the partnership between the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education for the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program.

Michael T. Vale

Michael T. Vale

Michael T. Vale

University of Akron
Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging

Summer 2015

“Learning from others about their impact on the aging population is what makes the OAGE program so important to the future of a student, like me.”

My summer practicum placement was at Butler County Probate Court stationed in Hamilton, Ohio. I worked with Judge Rogers and Rebecca DeLong, LSW, MSW on various projects and shadowing experiences. My primary focus was with the Guardianship program, but I was also exposed to multiple opportunities within Probate Court and the community.

In June 2015, new Ohio Guardianship law went into effect, causing the court to make adaptations to local rule and the Butler County guardianship process. My first project was to help with the creation of an updated training manual for “layperson” and volunteer guardians in the county. New requirements for the court and guardians were incorporated into the manual, which will be disseminated at upcoming educational events hosted by Probate Court. My main task was to relay information regarding the guardianship process from the Ohio Revised Code, Rules of Superintendence, and Butler County Local Rule. (Some changes to the guardianship process include continuing education requirements, an emergency guardianship process, and a complaint filing process.) Also included were sections on community resources that guardians may use to connect their individuals with services concerning higher quality of life. This project was a great way to familiarize myself with guardianship law and how it is executed at local probate court and beyond.

Involvement in the “Guardianship Connection Program” was my second project, which allowed me to meet with various guardians and “individuals under guardianship” in Butler County. Probate Court is looking to make connections with whom they serve and make sure “individuals under guardianship” are getting the best care possible. By making these visits, we can ensure that guardians are getting the resources they need to continue advocating for their individual’s best interests. These visits exposed me to multiple populations served through the guardianship process in the county including aging, mental health, developmental disabilities, drug/alcohol, and brain injury individuals. This was the most rewarding part of my summer experience, as I met some truly inspiring individuals. The relationship between guardians and their individuals span from family members to volunteers that wish to make a difference in a person’s life. I learned how valuable these connections are between the probate court and the guardians/individuals in the county. They provide an outlet not only for educating guardians, but making a face-to-face effort to truly get to know whom Butler County is serving in this program.

My opportunities with Butler County Probate Court and the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program provided a great blending of exposure to both local and state level agencies and aging related resources. Learning about community resources and its connection to state level agencies and policy was exactly what I wanted out of my experience this summer. It was also very insightful to learn from other Gerontology students about their experiences and learn from ODA staff. Learning from others about their impact on the aging population is what makes the OAGE program so important to the future of a student, like me. Thank you for this opportunity to participate this summer!

Hannah Thompson

Hannah Thompson

Hannah Thompson

Miami University
Butler County Probate Court (Guardianship Program)

Summer 2015

“Learning from others about their impact on the aging population is what makes the OAGE program so important to the future of a student, like me.”

My summer practicum placement was at Butler County Probate Court stationed in Hamilton, Ohio. I worked with Judge Rogers and Rebecca DeLong, LSW, MSW on various projects and shadowing experiences. My primary focus was with the Guardianship program, but I was also exposed to multiple opportunities within Probate Court and the community.

In June 2015, new Ohio Guardianship law went into effect, causing the court to make adaptations to local rule and the Butler County guardianship process. My first project was to help with the creation of an updated training manual for “layperson” and volunteer guardians in the county. New requirements for the court and guardians were incorporated into the manual, which will be disseminated at upcoming educational events hosted by Probate Court. My main task was to relay information regarding the guardianship process from the Ohio Revised Code, Rules of Superintendence, and Butler County Local Rule. (Some changes to the guardianship process include continuing education requirements, an emergency guardianship process, and a complaint filing process.) Also included were sections on community resources that guardians may use to connect their individuals with services concerning higher quality of life. This project was a great way to familiarize myself with guardianship law and how it is executed at local probate court and beyond.

Involvement in the “Guardianship Connection Program” was my second project, which allowed me to meet with various guardians and “individuals under guardianship” in Butler County. Probate Court is looking to make connections with whom they serve and make sure “individuals under guardianship” are getting the best care possible. By making these visits, we can ensure that guardians are getting the resources they need to continue advocating for their individual’s best interests. These visits exposed me to multiple populations served through the guardianship process in the county including aging, mental health, developmental disabilities, drug/alcohol, and brain injury individuals. This was the most rewarding part of my summer experience, as I met some truly inspiring individuals. The relationship between guardians and their individuals span from family members to volunteers that wish to make a difference in a person’s life. I learned how valuable these connections are between the probate court and the guardians/individuals in the county. They provide an outlet not only for educating guardians, but making a face-to-face effort to truly get to know whom Butler County is serving in this program.

My opportunities with Butler County Probate Court and the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program provided a great blending of exposure to both local and state level agencies and aging related resources. Learning about community resources and its connection to state level agencies and policy was exactly what I wanted out of my experience this summer. It was also very insightful to learn from other Gerontology students about their experiences and learn from ODA staff. Learning from others about their impact on the aging population is what makes the OAGE program so important to the future of a student, like me. Thank you for this opportunity to participate this summer!

Sunaina Rana

Sunaina Rana

Sunaina Rana

Miami University
Liberty Nursing Center

Summer 2015

“I feel fortunate to share and acquire knowledge related to aging and at the same time different ways to serve the older adults.”

I interned in Liberty Nursing Center (LNC) which is situated at Oxford, Ohio; one of the seventeen nursing centers under Liberty Nursing Centers. I spent 10 weeks of my summer vacation in the nursing home and it still feels there is more to learn from there. Although the residents ranged from age of 34 to 95, I focused on the senior citizens (60 years and above) as per my academic interest.

Amongst many other institutions, I chose to obtain practical experience from the nursing home for mostly two reasons; to observe the holistic approach taken by the Liberty Nursing Center to cater to the needs of senior citizens, and to see how much a policy for senior citizen affected them in macro level and what policy would be needed to support senior citizen. Acknowledging the same, I am thankful to the management team of LNC in providing me an opportunity to explore every department of the nursing home.

Despite having few years of experience working in the hospitals in Nepal, and often taking care of the older adults, the services provided at LNC was beyond my imagination. The management cared to listen to the feedbacks from the residents to keep improving the services and also make them feel the ownership towards the institution. Being exposed to the diverse activities and facilities provided in the nursing home, I felt that the residents in my country are utterly underserved. The rigorousness in managing a nursing center and old age homes is my biggest take-away from the internship.

I switched myself observing and supporting various departments; dietary, business office, activity, therapy and memory unit as per the need. I was able to practice the communication skills learnt during my graduate assistantship projects in supporting therapists in risk management and developed care plan with the therapist for the residents of special cases. I had an amazing experience meeting individual residents, one on one basis. Talking with the residents, listening to their experiences, observing their daily routines, and taking them on a walk provided me a chance to understand how much a personal touch in the life matters as one starts to get older.
I transitioned to administrative section to learn and support in conducting meetings with staffs, residents and families. Similarly, I assisted in reviewing the schedules of patients and planned for the care visits. I conducted ‘abaqis’ interviews, a tool for quality assessment of nursing homes. I felt trusted to be allowed to interact with the representative from Ohio Department of Health, which helped me to see the nursing home from the eye of a state.

Apart from being left on my own to engage myself to broaden my learning in the absence of the supervisor, the experience in Liberty Nursing Home has been really enriching. It felt as if all the courses we studied in a year unveiled in mere 10 weeks of my internship.
I would like to thank Ohio Scholars in Aging Program – Summer, 2015 and Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) for providing a wonderful platform to expand our networking with ODA staffs and the interns with same interest but with different experiences. I feel fortunate to share and acquire knowledge related to aging and at the same time different ways to serve the older adults. I look forward to meeting and learning from this cohort in the future too.