Blog Post 2- Learning Empathy for our Senior Community

After working at Hebrew Senior Life for almost two months, I can definitely say that I have learned a variety of skills and have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. I really enjoy working with my supervisor and meeting patients and residents and having the chance to not only have time to interact and learn from them, but to also be able to work on projects behind the scenes and have cool opportunities to participate in important work.

This past week, I was able to try on a suit that once worn, would make you feel similar to an older adult. There were ankle and wrist weights that would weigh me down in addition to various glasses that would simulate different  diseases such as glaucoma. I was walked through a variety of tasks like picking up a walker to allow me to see the challenges they endure. This suit allows healthcare professionals to build empathy for those they care for and this helps mimic certain characteristics as closely as possible.  I felt like I had an extra 200 lbs on me, and had a new appreciation for the challenges that many older adults experienced.


One of my favorite and meaningful opportunities thus far is being able to form connections with the older adults at CCB. Every Friday, I help coordinate and plan programs for the independent living facility in Brookline and I get the lovely opportunity to meet a variety of residents. Last week, I planned a frame decorating event after I realized how many residents had photos in their rooms but no frames. Everyone came down to the event and made a frame. For residents who were unable to make one themselves or come to the event, I decided to make them some. Pictured below are a few examples.

The World of Work has differed from university/academic life in many ways. I think one of the biggest differences is the unfamiliarity of the environment and people that definitely takes getting used to. As a rising senior at Brandeis, I am pretty familiar with campus and that familiarity eases certain stresses.  In a new environment, it takes time to learn about the company’s values and get to know co workers, which can be difficult if you do not put yourself out there. I really enjoy getting to learn more and meet new people so although it was a little difficult to get adjusted in a new work environment in the beginning,  I feel super comfortable now!

As a result of this internship, I am building a variety of transferrable skills such as the following: collaborating with others, building strong personal relationships, data entry, time management, creative thinking, etc. As someone who is very involved on campus, I will be able to bring these skills while working with others and on personal projects. In the future, I hope to be a physician and be able to use my resourcefulness and creativity to my role and help others through skills that I have been able to hone through my time at Hebrew Senior Life.