My Summer Experience: Quantia Bates

Interned at the Blakely Care Center

My Summer Experience
Quantia Bates
Graduate Student
Health and Human Services
Interned at the Blakely Care Center

People always seem to ask me why I like to work with older adults. My answer will always be that one day you'll be this "old" person, and right now your parents or grandparents may be that "old" person. You want considerate and knowledgeable people to take care of your loved ones when they are no longer able to care for themselves. For that reason, I chose to come back to BGSU to further my education in gerontology.

On May 7, I started as an intern at the Blakely Care Center right here in Bowling Green. I volunteered 440 hours of my time for 11weeks, eight hours a day, five days a week. Jalon Helton, who was my supervisor during my time at the Blakely, was the recreational therapist. My main task was to be her assistant, which included outings, nail care and other things.

In the mornings we would do coffee hour. The part the residents enjoyed the most about this time was hearing us read the newspaper out loud. They really enjoyed hearing about what was going on in the world.

My responsibilities included going to stand-up meetings, contributing to care plans, taking pictures of the residents for the online system that keeps track of them, as well as just lending a listening ear to residents.

I would say that I enjoyed many different activities, such as playing cards and most of all doing their nails. During that time they just want to talk with people who are willing to listen. At times I would share my knowledge with residents, but the most rewarding part was learning from them. I enjoyed taking the residents out, not only because they enjoyed it a lot, but also because they were always appreciative when we took them places. They loved getting out and seeing the scenery, even if they had seen it a thousand times before.

One day I hope to be able to work with older adults who suffer with mental illnesses, but for right now I will continue to focus on my master's degree in gerontology and working towards making a difference for older adults.