Blog Post 1 : “Empowering Seniors To Live Their Best Lives”

Hi everyone! I am so fortunate to have the incredible opportunity to intern with the Academic Programs Department of Hebrew Senior Life .

My internship is quite unique as I get to experience various sectors that Hebrew SeniorLife has to offer and I have met many amazing individuals so far . This week marks my fourth week with my internship and I have learned a lot already!

To start off, Hebrew SeniorLife is a senior care organization that is rooted in Jewish heritage. HSL promotes the independence of all seniors and strives to transform every aspect of the aging experience for the better. Hebrew SeniorLife is redefining the aging experience through curiosity, creativity, and belief in a better way through their innovative programs and initiatives. Hebrew SeniorLife is an integrated, eight-site system of health care, housing, research and teaching that serves thousands of seniors in the Greater Boston area and beyond. This unique and comprehensive system is aimed at expanding choices for adults as they age and improving their quality of life. From the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research to innovative housing options, each component of this system is designed to help keep seniors independent in the community for as long as possible and, when necessary, to provide the best quality long-term care. I currently work on a hybrid basis, sometimes going to the Roslindale campus and other times going to the Brookline location.

In my internship, I have assisted in preparing training and marketing materials for the CNA program, ensuring that the program is running smoothly from an administrative academic lens. In addition, I am in the process of creating participation surveys for the participants to fill before and after their training to provide positives and constructive recommendations on what to improve to the CNA administrative group which will further aid in allowing for better and equitable practices as an organization. I have also been helping out with their  digital literacy and assessment program where we teach HSL staff basic digital literacy skills so they can use these skills at their job and life overall. This is such a meaningful and important part of my internship so far because it really is the gift that keeps giving; these staff members will now be able to teach others the skills that they have acquire through this program  and I have learned how to be an effective teacher and really help problem solve in a variety of situations. My specific tasks for my internship vary each week but what I have listed above are some of the things I have and currently am working on.

One of my favorite parts of my work so far is spending time with seniors in Brookline. I help plan and assist with activities for senior to enjoy from helping them bead jewelry to painting our feelings on canvas. I enjoy talking to them and getting to know more about their lives.  We all enjoy each other’s company so much and it makes me feel really great everytime I come in to see them. It has also taught me a lot about setting boundaries and learning how to be patient with others and myself, skills that I can always keep working on. Starting next week, I will also be helping with art therapy projects with patients at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale, working on reducing feelings of isolation and building communication and concentration skills.


By the end of my internship, I want to be able to learn more about grant processes and grant coordination. Through creating marketing and promotional material for the CNA grant-based training program to coordinating interviews and meetings with potential participants, I will gain a deeper understanding of the administrative work that goes into a training program like this. In addition to that, I will participate in grant prep meetings that will give me the insider perspective on the grant process and how the coordination happens behind the scenes. I want to be able to have strong understanding of the moving parts in a healthcare setting, so working in a hands on environment will provide me the knowledge of how different administrators and healthcare professionals interact and how administrative tasks are handled holistically. As someone who will be applying to medical school soon, I know that administrative skills are important to keep operations running smoothly and a successful doctor should have that as well as a patient centered care approach so being able to balance both in this internship will allow me to better prep me for my future career. Through interacting with different administrators and professionals, I want to not only be able to practice my interpersonal skills but to also learn improve on cultural awareness. Interacting with a variety of individuals of all ages and backgrounds has allowed me to gain a better appreciation for others but also learn a lot as a person. More specifically, I hope to continue to learn valuable life lessons and skills from the seniors I work with in addition to teaching them some of my favorite hobbies and skills. The exchange of information and experiences has been really rewarding so far so I hope to continue this valuable experience.

It has only been four weeks and I already feel that I have learned a lot of transferrable skills and life tools that I will use in the future and I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

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.