I am just starting out in the gerontology program and I'm trying to find my place. I would like to work with elderly who are still fairly active and healthy. I have an art and design background, have done construction, love to travel, read and listen, dance and play. Are there opportunities for me?
Veronika from Portland, OR
All you have to do is check out your local Senior Center. The will be able to help you find folks who need help. Also check out craigslist as you can read help wanted ads and also place your own ad. Good luck, I am sure you will find something you would like to do.
You could start out by contacting your school distrist. Most have a community services department. and they have opportunities to work with seniors. You could also contact your local senior center.
I am a retired LPN and worked in nursing homes for 14 of 18 years. I took gerentolody courses when I went to college in my 40's, 20 years ago. Now, with all that said, it sounds like you would do good in the activity dept or social service dept of a nursing home or an assisted living facility, probably the latter one from your description of what you wanted. Check with area nursing homes. Also, check with your local/nearest Area Agency on Aging. They can help you get names of places to check out and maybe even think of some I haven't. Good Luck.
Why not take the activity director course offered in Sept in most vocational schools or apply to nursing homes as an activity assistant and try it out. Many assisted living places have activities everyday and always need help, it's a fun job!
My degree area is also Gerontology. While in school I tried a variety of Senior areas. The local Senior Citizens Center, Adult Day Care, and a hospital program called Mercy Day Break were all great experiences. I also did some program presenting and telephone service referrals for major companies. The Gerontology field is huge! Based on the things you listed try Activity Director jobs at Retirement Communities (not nursing homes actual communities) and what about a Travel Agency that puts together Senior tours and cruises?
A good way to explore job options and get a job is to contact places and interview the director for a school project/paper. That's how I got all of my jobs=-) Good luck!