TGIF. I spent my night in the basement, aka Woman Cave, watching the last two parts of the BBC miniseries Emma. Needless to say I felt quite feminine.
The last two days at my field placement were very exciting. Thursday was my first day in the Wellness and Arts Center. My supervisor is super busy, and they’re in the process of renovating the space, so that adds to the chaos. We had a group and in our group of 5 men, two men had intellectual disabilities, two men had hearing loss, and the one remaining man had some mobility issues, but was very talkative and friendly. A couple of the men had some memory loss. It was challenging to run a group with so many different levels of ability, but all of the participants were willing to share. One of the men is 100 and was born in Russia under a czar and his whole family immigrated to the United States when they heard that Henry Ford was paying his workers $5 a day. Two of the men fought in WWII. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t wait to get to know more of the participants.
Today I was back in the offices and my supervisor and I refined some of my roles and duties. One idea we came up with was that I act as a “benefits system advocate,” helping individual clients with their applications for benefits like Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP. Later in the afternoon I was given my first assignment in this role-completing SNAP recertification paperwork for a client who can’t travel to complete the paperwork herself. I had to walk to her apartment to get her to sign the papers, and when I got there she made me tea and chatted with me about all kinds of things. She can speak 4 different languages and gave me tips on how to learn Spanish. She was friendly and delightful, and only kept me 45 minutes ;)
So far, working with older adults has been a treat for me. It has also been a great learning experience and has presented me with many questions already, like how can I better involve individuals with hearing loss in a group? I’m sure many challenges lie ahead (like going to the benefits office on Monday to turn in paperwork since I’m told they have a habit of losing applications, even those sent via certified mail) but even so, I can’t wait to meet more clients and get deeper into my internship.
In other news, I’m a little ill. It could be the constantly changing weather, my exposure to new germs (Metro, dorm, work), or the fact that I’m living in a musty dust chamber that needs new air filters and some open windows. Either way, I’m going to make myself some herbal tea, watch some Breaking Bad, and try to sleep it off.