“My year in the Internships in Aging Project as a field intern with the New York State Office for the Aging provided me the knowledge, skills and context I needed to work successfully as a macro social worker in the field of aging. I am currently the Director of Operations in the Center for Excellence in Aging Services. The Center seeks low-cost, evidence-based and sustainable solutions to increased need for services for seniors. The Center’s projects include care management for seriously and persistently mentally ill older adults living in the community; a systems change project to incorporate the needs of persons with dementia and their caregivers into point of entry systems; and a quality improvement/quality assurance project for participants in state funded Medicaid long term care home services programs. I am encouraged by the innovation and creativity I see in communities as they seek solutions to these concerns. For example, the Center recently assisted a community coalition in writing a grant to develop a health education and wellness initiative to decrease health disparities.
Prior to my involvement with the Internships in Aging Project, I had little experience with older adults in formal settings. My interest in the project was driven more by personal experiences and the unfolding reality that we are all growing older; that makes this work seem all the more important. The work I do is not only to make things better for older persons today, but for the future of all of us who hope to live out our lives with dignity in community with our families and those with whom we have shared our lives. If anything I do through the Center brings us a step closer to that, then my work here will have been truly successful.”
“Through my IAP internship I worked with family caregivers of the elderly, presented education programs, lead support groups, and worked on a pilot project to evaluate an intervention for caregivers. This experience, together with the knowledge and confidence I gained through IAP, enabled me to be hired by Senior Services of Albany for a federally-funded demonstration project. I led about 150 conference call support group meetings during the 3-year project. Because of the national importance of this grant project, I have presented this work at conferences across the country. I now coordinate a multi-agency evidence-based health promotion project called Women take PRIDE at Senior Services of Albany. Before IAP I would have never imagined that my first full-time social work position would be so rich in opportunity and be such a combination of direct practice, administration and research.”
“As an intern I learned about assessments, surveys, program evaluation, and resources in the community. I use the resources and skills that I gained on a daily basis as the program manager and social worker of a medical adult day program.”
“I work primarily with adults with intellectual disabilities and my agency uses my knowledge and awareness of aging to look at ways to meet the needs of our aging consumers. We have developed an ‘aging in place’ committee that is making changes to the houses, examining different approaches for day services, and considering a dementia center. As we all know, the concerns and issues related to the aging are increasing in number and that is where the focus is right now.”