GSSW in the Field
Administration on Aging
STUDENT: Nanae Ito, Denver Campus MSW Program, concentration in Aging Services and Policy
AGENCY: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging, Denver, Colorado
WHAT THEY DO: The Administration on Aging distributes Older Americans Act federal dollars to all states and federally recognized tribes. These funds help states, community-based organizations and tribes provide critical services to adults over 60. Services include nutritious meals to combat hunger and malnutrition, professional advocates who serve on behalf of residents in long-term care communities, and family caregiver support to address burnout and connect them to resources.
STUDENT’S ROLE: Throughout her nine months at the Administration on Aging, Nanae became intimately acquainted with how the Older Americans Act impacts the health and well-being of older adults and their caregivers in 11 states. She attended trainings and workshops that were partially funded by the act—including a seminar on domestic violence in later life—and participated in meetings for grant makers and funders. She also gave a webinar on active living throughout the lifespan and led a meeting on dispelling the myths of aging.
THE IMPACT: “What I have appreciated most is the multitude of opportunities to meet other professionals in the field of aging. I have been able to meet with organizations such as the federal Office of Refugees and Resettlement to discuss potential programs for older adult refugees and immigrants in Colorado. I also met with the president of the National Council on Aging to learn about their new Aging Mastery Program and how it could be implemented in Colorado. Each interaction gives me inspiration to envision where I’d like to see myself serving and thriving in the field of aging.”