A word from our Intern…

Heather Johansen

Hello! My name is Abigail Witt, but you can call me Abby. I will be interning with Heather Johansen, Executive Director of Senior Foundation of the Ozarks for the next four months. I am a Psychology and Gerontology student at Missouri State University. I am currently applying for the Masters in Social Work program at Missouri State to reach my goal of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I want to be an LCSW so I can advocate for older adults in my community who may have lost their voice.

My passion for working with older adults began when I was a young girl. My best friend growing up was my great aunt. She taught me a love of working with my hands, gardening, and playing cards. The best lesson she taught me was compassion for all people. When my great aunt was dying, I visited her every day. She received hospice care during her last months of life, and this was a blessing to our family. My aunt always made me feel unique with one simple phrase, “you are my favorite,” and those were her last words to me. I remember the day she looked me so intensely in the eyes and whispered to me our phrase, and I left feeling different, not knowing as a young 8-year-old that was our goodbye.

When I turned 18, I was finally old enough to volunteer for hospice. I sat with people who were dying and did not have much family to visit. I also provided respite to caregivers, so they could get their hair done, go grocery shopping, and give themselves some self-care. The incredible care my aunt received was a model I wanted to follow and contribute to other families.

Thank you for reading!  I am very excited to have this opportunity to work with Senior Foundation of the Ozarks!

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