Laura Andrews-Francis

Laura Andrews-Francis

Miami University
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio

Summer 2014

This semester I interned at The Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio in Cincinnati. When the council became involved with the Ohio Home Care Waiver they needed to update their resource directory to provide a better service to all consumers. One of the ways they did this was by adding new categories and resources to include people of all ages who have disabilities. The council acquired packets of resources from The Department of Jobs and Family Services for seven counties: Butler, Hamilton, Clinton, Greene, Clermont, Warren and Montgomery. My project was to check these resources and see if they were currently in the directory, if not I researched the resource and added it to the directory. The information I compiled during my research included the contact information, a description of the resource and links to their programs. Another step was adding keywords that the consumer may use to search for the resource. For example if the resource was Hospice of Dayton, keywords would include: hospice, end of life, emotional support, symptom management, palliative care, hospice providers, hospice services and terminally ill. The goal was to add as many keywords that the consumer may use in a search engine to find a particular resource. Adding as many categories to the resource to be listed under was another step. There is a list of categories to choose from, the categories used for Hospice of Dayton were: care options, grief and loss support groups and hospice. After I completed adding ninety-four new resources I went back to the list of the approximately 2,000 already existing resources and began editing them to make sure they were inclusive to the population as a whole and listed under all applicable categories.

I had heard of many of the resources in the directory but there were more that I had not heard of. Learning about these resources gives me the opportunity to help others by sharing my knowledge of the resources with them or simply referring them to the directory. The resource directory is a valuable tool for consumers, care managers, case workers or anyone working with older adults or people with disabilities.

Having the opportunity to learn more about our state’s Department of Aging through the Ohio Internships in Aging Program has been invaluable. Ohioans are fortunate to have a Department of Aging that is so committed to the needs of our state’s older adults. It shows through the multiple programs and projects they are involved in. Since I have a special interest in intergenerational relationships I really enjoyed learning about the departments intergenerational programs Start Talking and Project More. Everyone I met through my internship experience showed enthusiasm and commitment to the projects and programs they were involved with. It has been a privilege to have firsthand exposure to the agency, their projects and the people dedicated to them.

“Having the opportunity to learn more about our state’s Department of Aging through the Ohio Internships in Aging Program has been invaluable.”

Sarah Flowers

Sarah Flowers

 

Sarah Flowers

Miami University
The 741 Center

 

 

“This experience has given me a stronger voice in order to speak out for older adults, as many of the older adults I met felt as if they had no voice.”

 

There are 11,400 senior centers helping 1 million seniors a day (National Council on Aging, 2013), many of which with a primary goal to help elders age successfully. The Ohio Department on Aging Internship has given me the opportunity to understand the importance and the impact that senior centers can have on the elderly population. Warren County Community Services has many programs and services for the elderly population, one of which is the 741 Senior Center that has different programs and services to promote cognitive, physical and mental health. Through interning at The 741 Senior Center I was able to be a part of many activities and events, and this experience not only allowed me to be aware of the activities seniors are involved in but enabled me to connect and reach out to the older population.

Some of the activities at the 741 Senior Center include Zumba, computer classes, bingo, Silver Sneakers and more. My internship enabled me to be involved in and help with many of these activities, as I was given many projects that reached out to the older population. My supervisors at the senior center believed that my involvement in these activities promoted the importance of intergenerational relationships and identifying some of the challenges seniors face. My first project consisted of asking the older adults at the senior center to finish a sentence: “I believe older adults”. All the elders enjoyed this project because it gave them an opportunity to speak their mind in regard to the challenges and triumphs they face. My second project consisted of interviewing an elder about their life. This interview gave me the opportunity to hear an elderly women’s story about different adventures and challenges she faced. The interviewee gave me the opportunity to interview her at Otterbein Senior Lifestyles, and in class I learned about different senior communities but never had the opportunity to visit one. This internship gave me the opportunity to be connected to a senior who allowed me to see a senior center for the first time. I worked on other projects that consisted of decorating and setting up collages around the senior center, and the seniors loved seeing their faces on the walls reminding them of different activities that had passed.

Interning at The 741 Senior Center gave me experience working with the elderly population. Many of the elders enjoyed talking with me to the point where my supervisor had to explain to the seniors that I had to have my own space to finish my projects. The Ohio Department of Aging Internship has given me the tools and skills to succeed in my future career in gerontology. I feel I have grown professionally and can achieve any task at hand. This experience has given me a stronger voice in order to speak out for older adults, as many of the older adults I met felt as if they had no voice. The older adults want me to speak out and help them find ways to overcome daily challenges related to aging. I will never forget this experience and all of the new knowledge that I have gained. Being an intern at The 741 Senior Center has revealed the importance of intergenerational relationships, opened my eyes to the struggles seniors face and I hope in my career I can make a change.

Laura Hahn

Laura Hahn

 

Sarah Flowers

Miami University
The 741 Center

 

 

“This experience has given me a stronger voice in order to speak out for older adults, as many of the older adults I met felt as if they had no voice.”

 

There are 11,400 senior centers helping 1 million seniors a day (National Council on Aging, 2013), many of which with a primary goal to help elders age successfully. The Ohio Department on Aging Internship has given me the opportunity to understand the importance and the impact that senior centers can have on the elderly population. Warren County Community Services has many programs and services for the elderly population, one of which is the 741 Senior Center that has different programs and services to promote cognitive, physical and mental health. Through interning at The 741 Senior Center I was able to be a part of many activities and events, and this experience not only allowed me to be aware of the activities seniors are involved in but enabled me to connect and reach out to the older population.

Some of the activities at the 741 Senior Center include Zumba, computer classes, bingo, Silver Sneakers and more. My internship enabled me to be involved in and help with many of these activities, as I was given many projects that reached out to the older population. My supervisors at the senior center believed that my involvement in these activities promoted the importance of intergenerational relationships and identifying some of the challenges seniors face. My first project consisted of asking the older adults at the senior center to finish a sentence: “I believe older adults”. All the elders enjoyed this project because it gave them an opportunity to speak their mind in regard to the challenges and triumphs they face. My second project consisted of interviewing an elder about their life. This interview gave me the opportunity to hear an elderly women’s story about different adventures and challenges she faced. The interviewee gave me the opportunity to interview her at Otterbein Senior Lifestyles, and in class I learned about different senior communities but never had the opportunity to visit one. This internship gave me the opportunity to be connected to a senior who allowed me to see a senior center for the first time. I worked on other projects that consisted of decorating and setting up collages around the senior center, and the seniors loved seeing their faces on the walls reminding them of different activities that had passed.

Interning at The 741 Senior Center gave me experience working with the elderly population. Many of the elders enjoyed talking with me to the point where my supervisor had to explain to the seniors that I had to have my own space to finish my projects. The Ohio Department of Aging Internship has given me the tools and skills to succeed in my future career in gerontology. I feel I have grown professionally and can achieve any task at hand. This experience has given me a stronger voice in order to speak out for older adults, as many of the older adults I met felt as if they had no voice. The older adults want me to speak out and help them find ways to overcome daily challenges related to aging. I will never forget this experience and all of the new knowledge that I have gained. Being an intern at The 741 Senior Center has revealed the importance of intergenerational relationships, opened my eyes to the struggles seniors face and I hope in my career I can make a change.