Goleta Valley Senior Center
What drew you to the field of aging or gerontology?
Working in the field of aging actually just fell in my lap. I had decided to go back to college after leaving the field of Law Enforcement. While at school I was helping take care of a senior, and after she passed I had some extra time on my hands and I began volunteering at a nursing home. During this time, the Senior Director position at the Goleta Valley Community Center opened up and everyone at the nursing home kept pushing me to apply. At the time the program was small and only part time, so I went for it. Surprisingly, they hired me the same day. It took about a month for me to realize that working with and for the elderly population was my passion.
What is your specialty or area of interest?
In the last 13 years here at the Goleta Valley Senior Center my areas of interest have grown. I have had the opportunity to gain knowledge in so many facets in the field of aging. I would have to say that "active aging" is a priority for me in terms of helping our seniors live a longer and more healthy life. We are lucky in that we live in an area that safe recreation for seniors, can actually be a year round event. As I am writing this, I have a bus load of seniors getting ready to go hiking up in our mountains! In terms of interest, I have been focused on Elder Abuse Prevention for ten years. This is a topic I am passionate about, and I have a great group of colleagues that I work with on this. Our group is the Santa Barbara Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Prevention Council. This group of people are as passionate about ENDING Elder Abuse as I am, and I believe we are making progress. We will be presenting a workshop at this year's Aging in America Conference in San Diego, so I hope you join us!!
How do ASA's resources and education help you with your work?
ASA's resources have been invaluable to me. Whether it is an article in "Generations", the newsletter, or me scouring the ASA website, I can almost always find the knowledge I am seeking. And, in those times when I can't find what I am looking for, I can always call, email, tweet, instagram, FB, someone and I always get the help I am seeking and always with a happy and helpful response. Last year was the first year I ever attended an ASA Conference. My mind was blown by all the valuable knowledge I gained. I actually found myself wanting it to last a few days longer so I could go to all the sessions. I am truly looking forward to #AiA14 and am lucky enough to bring a colleague and new member of ASA with me. Having another person at the conference who can go to the sessions I can't make it too is going to be a huge asset to all of our colleagues back home.