A Review of the Chicago Bridge March, 2011 Event

Panel of Professionals in the Field of Aging

On March 16, 2011 the Chicago Bridge held had a wonderful panel of professionals in the field of aging share their advice and tips on getting started in the field of aging. This event was hosted by the Methodist Home. Claudia Cook from LivHOme, Robert Mapes from Age Options, Karen Kolb from Mather Lifeways, Nicole Batsch from Alzheimer’s Association,  Amy Wiatr from the Administration on Aging, and Amy Eisenstien from Rush University’s Older Adult Programs created a wonderful panel. 

Each panelist shared their story on how they got into the field of aging and how they ended up in their current careers.  Most of the panel shared similar experiences of volunteering or working with older adults as what drew them into the field.

Volunteer on Boards &  Join Special Interest Groups

The panel had great advice for those of us who are just starting out or are about to graduate. One idea for shared by the panel is to volunteer to be a Board of a non profit that may interest you. It was suggested that being a part of a Board is a great way to network with people in the field of aging, as well as other leaders in the community.  Aside from non-profit boards, another idea is to join special interest committees of larger organizations including American Society on Aging (ASA), and of course becoming involved with the Chicago Bridge. These were great ideas to expand the professional network in the Field of Aging .

Examples of Questions Asked to the Panel

1. I would be interested in learning what drew the panelist to the field of aging; what general trends they are aware of across the field now (particular needs of older adults, or pressures within the different professions; trends across Chicago and also nationally.

One of the trends in the field of aging that was identified by the panel was the movement toward enhanced discharge planning especially in light of the Affordable Care Act and the national focus on reducing the number of hospital readmissions. The growing need for geriatric care managers, and experts on aging issues with the aging baby boomer population were also identified as growing trends.

2. Can you share information about applying for jobs. 

 These attendees asked great questions about finding jobs in the field, when their degree specialty is so new, and they might competing with social workers or other professions who are able to bill Medicare. The panel encouraged them to develop professional networks so that their particular specialty may gain more recognition. Also it was suggested for attendees to apply for mental health positions within the aging field, even when postings may specify other degrees.  

Thanks to the Panelists

It was a great night thanks to a wonderful panel and audience.  The event highlighted the usefulness of the Chicago Bridge in developing professional networks and providing opportunities for members to get involved. It was especially encouraging to hear Robert Mapes tell the group that when he was recently interviewing for an open position that those who listed the Chicago Bridge on their resumes all got job interviews!

This post was edited by Jaimie Robinson

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