Kaylee and Niamh completed their placement as part of their Occupational Therapy Degree, spending time at many of our services including our Health & Wellbeing Clubs, Craft Club, Men's Group and at the Roar Do Feet clinics. Their warm, professional and bubbly personalities fit in perfectly at Roar, and we are all definitely sad to to see them go!
They joined us on a very different placement than they are used to, this time in a 'role-emerging' setting where there is no Occupational Therapist to shadow. The idea behind this placement is to build autonomy while continuing to develop their core Occupational Therapy skills.
Working with our Prevention Services Lead Clare, they were able to gain an insight into why we do what we do, the types of older adults we support, how organisations like Roar fit within the wider community, and how we work with other professionals and organisaitons to support individuals. They also implemented some interventions (activties) as part of their course, which were designed and created specifically for our service users.
Kaylee on her experience:
My placement at Roar - Connections For Life has allowed for both my autonomy and skills to develop and flourish. I have experienced a warm welcome from the staff, volunteers, and service users. I engaged in different clubs that allowed me to assess diverse skills and needs, but also met many individuals in the communities of Renfrewshire. It is amazing so see this population engaging by use of activity, socialisation, and promoting independence. It is hard to say which club I enjoyed the most because each one has its own purpose and is so meaningful to the individuals involved. My experience at Roar has been so positive and I will continue to reflect on my learning and how my confidence has increased through a welcoming and rewarding learning environment.
Niamh on her experience:
What I really enjoyed was the variety of services offered; whether it be exercise classes, being creative or just meeting up with friends to have chat - there is something to suit everyone’s interests. It has been such a fantastic experience seeing how this community has improved the lives of older adults, from learning new skills to making new friends, as well as having fun. Everyone always seems to be smiling and having fun when attending these groups. For me that is the best feedback of all; people are enjoying themselves smiling, laughing, and having fun in a safe and supportive environment. They can be themselves and are encouraged and supported to remain physically active and stay socially included, because each individual older adult that attends these groups have an important role to play by sharing their story, knowledge and experiences. From an occupational therapy student perspective, it is essential that older adults are supported to maintain and improve their quality of life within our society. Being with the organisation for the past 7 weeks I have learned so much about each person’s life and how it has been impacted by the pandemic.
As a society we all need to promote positive ageing to allow older adults to remain as independent and be active in our communities, providing them with the advice and support they need. The determination and ability of the staff, clients and volunteers to work so effectively and collaboratively together to make this positive change to provide a more inclusive society currently and for the future.
We really value having Students undertake placements with us, and think the experience gained will be invaluable to their furture professional careers. We also learn so much from each student with their exciting ideas and specialisms, and hope we can continue our great relationaships with local University's and Colleges.
We have no doubt Kaylee and Niamh will acheive great things in their future endeavours...and our service users would certainly welcome them back with open arms!