January 3, 2012

Lesley University Graduate Student Rebecca Conners Enjoys Internship at Aviv Centers for Living

When Lesley University graduate student Rebecca Conners was looking for an internship she read a mission statement that caught her eye: “The Mission of Aviv Centers for Living is to enrich the life of each of our residents and program participants, so that each can continue to live his or her life with a sense of meaning and purpose”  Having volunteered in an Adopt A Grandparent program at a local nursing home in Virginia, she understood how enrichment is such an important element in senior care.
After visiting Aviv Centers for Living (Aviv), she was even more impressed with the level of activity and care and thought it would be a great place to do field work for her study in Expressive Arts Therapy, Dance Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Conners has been working in the Social Work Services Department of Aviv since October. Along with working with clients in the Adult Day Health program, she also works with dementia patients in Aviv’s skilled nursing facility.  At the Adult Day Health Center, she helps clients relax through meditation exercises and by giving shoulder massages. She also enjoys lighthearted conversations with seniors building relationships and trust.
One of Conners favorite experiences is a group she heads with two dementia patients, using visual arts and reminiscing. “I love listening to their stories. They have so much knowledge,” says Conners. Another group Conners leads enjoys music and movement to the tunes of Frank Sinatra, the Andrew sisters, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin. While one gentleman sweetly kissed her hand to express his gratitude, another simply said,”Thank you.”
Conners is grateful  for the opportunity to experience  her field work at  Aviv’s Social Work Services Department. “I’ve learned so much about the integrated and interdisciplinary structure of a skilled nursing facility and how the Social Work Services team interacts with the residents, nurses and family members.” The biggest lesson she has learned is how special residents with dementia are. Whether through conversation, dance, art or eye contact, Conners wants to access the people she works with and touch their lives as they have done to her.
“Rebeccaa is a talented young woman who has so much to offer our residents at Aviv. We are committed to educating students and offering supervision so that they can find working with older adults and their families a rewarding experience,” notes Janice Glick, Director of Social Work Services. If you would like to learn more about internships at or information about Social Work Services at Aviv, contact Glick at 781-598-5310 x. 1561 or jglick@avivliving.org.
Aviv Centers for Living has been providing excellence in senior care since 1945 . Services include assisted living, skilled nursing, adult day health, care management and home care. To learn more about Aviv’s continuum of senior care and exciting expansion plans visit www.avivliving.org.