My Story: Aging and My Role as a Geriatric Social Worker

By Saniya Ghanoui —

JZ shares how her geriatric social work has influenced the way she sees her own aging process.


OBOS Today: So, on the form you wrote that you’d be interested in talking about like aging well and like aging comfortably in society and I was wondering what like it means to you to age comfortably. 

JZ: Okay there’s the personal and the professional way of looking at this. On a professional level, I’m a social worker and studied specifically geriatric social work because I was very interested in what’s coming up ahead of me other than where I’ve been and let other people take care about adolescents and things that I left behind a long time ago. So, I ended up wanting to work in geriatrics and try to keep things as comfortably, financially and socially as people can, can, be under their circumstances which they vary considerably. So, I did this professionally as a social worker and then of course I’m watching my friends starting to hit their 80s, late 70s, so I was 79 a couple weeks ago. So, it’s, it’s, still ahead of me. 

OBOS Today: Yeah, how did, like do you feel like um being a geriatric social worker has like influenced how you’ve seen your own aging process? 

JZ: I watched what was happening with people and say okay, I want to do it this way or oh boy I hope I never have to do it that way, so it was always judging what seemed to work and helping people make as good choices as they could. 

OBOS Today: Yeah, wait can you give me like an example or two about like what you saw work versus what didn’t work? 

JZ: The engagement with other people trying to have good family relationships and then peer group where you can share, well, my daughter said this with the hands on the hip, and the other one says well that’s nothing short of seeing what by granddaughter did, so it’s, it’s, having people to share the stories with and some of them are funny.