Out of the classroom and into the world

Whew! Five courses in the geriatric care management program at University of Florida were well worth my time and tuition checks.

I didn’t really have concerns that my investments of time, dollars and brain energy were unwise but Day One of my internship with a geriatric care management agency was an A+++ in my own personal grade book. Huge thanks to my preceptor and her staff who spent precious time and energy today to orient me to a Day in the Life. I loved every minute. The day flew by. I can’t wait until next Tuesday when I go back for my second week.

Don’t get me wrong. Clients and their loved ones and caregivers (sadly, not always a loving relationship) have tremendous needs that are not easily resolved. The Silver Tsunami is not simply a slick, trite phrase for the sake of social media. It’s a reality. Look at the global statistics: In 2000, approximately 605 million people were 60 years or older. By 2050, that number is expected to be close to 2 billion. At that time, seniors will outnumber children 14 and under for the first time in history.

The challenges that we are facing with our grandparents, parents, neighbors, colleagues, blended families are real and they are complicated. The challenges are also not unique; recurring themes abound. The sandwich generation is juggling work, children, aging parents, step-parents, and debt. Thank goodness for social workers and healthcare workers who care. They are an amazing community of practice, putting their heads together to solve one issue after another. Please note, nothing about aging is static. Solve one challenge for an older adult and their health and personal situations will whip up more challenges before you can say “done”.

I’m ending my day with a sense of commitment and satisfaction I haven’t felt in awhile. I’m with my people. I want to do what they are doing.  How do we get the word out? Geriatric care managers can help. They are caring professionals who are doing good in the world. I want to be one when I grow up.

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