My Path to Gerontology
by Jacqueline Campbell< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >
A new career
Obtaining a graduate degree while simultaneously running a household, bringing up children, looking after an aged parent and performing low-skilled jobs to supplement the family income are a testament to anyone’s multi-tasking skills.
I was therefore confident that I could handle the essentials of the position of Staff Educator well. I also believed that I had the personality, the communication skills and the empathy to be able to relate to the aged, their families and the nursing home staff, and possibly bring a fresh perspective to an institutional setting perhaps somewhat jaded by traditional professionals with a nursing background.
Thus was launched my career as an adult educator in long term care. As time went on, I was given the opportunity to introduce supportive social services, especially in providing barrier free communication between the facility and the clients and families.
Over the course of almost 10 years I perfected my formal knowledge in the field of gerontology through practical application and participation in many workshops and seminars. One gradually realizes that one is acknowledged an expert in a subject when requested to give many presentations and workshops to social work students, family practice interns, and sundry other professionals whose work brought them into close proximity to the elderly.
Given my relationship with my father and the stress of caring for him over a protracted period of time, I was well prepared to become an educator and social service provider in a gerontological setting. My experience came in handy when the time came for me to become economically independent.
Now, as an independent professional consultant in this multi-faceted and varied field, I find empathic response to the situations families find themselves in as they encounter similar challenges along life’s way. Whether they are dealing with normal ageing, chronic disease, the burden of caregiving, developing understanding and coping strategies, or simply taking the plunge to reach out for help, I readily tap into my knowledge and experience to design solutions to problems that are not, in fact, insurmountable.